Brody Corners TIF—It’s Back
The previously delayed Brody Corners incentive package is back in front of the Springfield City Council. The plan would redirect $3.4 million to the developer of this multi-use project through tax-increment financing (TIF) and a community improvement district (CID). As always, giving away tax dollars to developers is not a good deal for taxpayers.
Apparently, the problems that led to the initial postponement of the project have been overcome as the plan for the $27 million development with retail, restaurant, and office space is moving forward. The land for the proposed development was only annexed into the City of Springfield in June 2021.
The obvious question is: Why would the city annex an area only to spend millions of taxpayer dollars subsidizing the development of the land?
I’ll admit that the area seems to be in pretty bad shape, so it may legitimately be considered “blight,” a designation that would qualify the project for TIF. (Blight designations for TIF projects are frequently not legitimate.) But there are other programs intended for environmental remediation that the land’s private owners could pursue that are much less harmful to taxpayers.
Economic development incentives such as TIF put taxpayers on the hook to increase private business profits. While passing this TIF proposal may make Springfield lawmakers look like they are “fixing” this eyesore, it’s at the expense of taxpayers. Lawmakers should focus on keeping tax rates low for everyone instead of playing favorites and artificially lowering them for a chosen few.