Caught in a Testimony Rundown
As Missouri’s legislative session gets going, Show-Me Institute analysts have been busy testifying on a variety of issues at the state and local levels.
My colleagues and I submitted testimony on HB 1598, which would require local elected officials to affirmatively vote to redirect public safety taxes to TIF subsidies, such as a fire department sales tax. It would be more difficult for elected officials to approve so many subsidies if they had to be on the record moving taxes away from their intended sources and into subsidies for select developers.
We also submitted testimony against two new tax credit bills (SB 732 & 733), which my colleague Corianna cogently composed a column about here. They are both, simply put, absolutely terrible public policy.
Earlier this week, I submitted testimony on St. Louis County’s PACE program. This loan program for energy efficiency has turned county governments into debt collectors for private interests, and that is unacceptable. For the record, I favor eliminating the PACE program for residential property in all Missouri counties, not just St. Louis.
Finally, I submitted testimony online regarding Maplewood’s new “source of income” rules, which require that landlords accept Section 8 housing vouchers. This is a voluntary, federal program, and Maplewood (or any other city) has no business requiring landlords to participate in it. This is a prime example of how “small” government is often very different from “limited” government.
In The Accidental Tourist book and film, the main character is a travel writer who hates to travel. That pretty much sums up my work as someone who writes about municipal policy. Find me a city or county in Missouri that is comfortable doing a few basic things well and I will never stop singing its praises.