Kirkwood Says ‘Yes!’ To Actual Capitalism
Tax Increment Financing (TIF) usage in Missouri is so out of control that we have actually witnessed cities reject proposals precisely because they did not ask for subsidies. You read that correctly. Developments have been killed due to their lack of a subsidy request, as cities want the subsidy because it gives them more control over the project.
So it has been with great interest that I have followed the debate in Kirkwood over the intersection of Kirkwood and Manchester Roads. Kirkwood asked for redevelopment proposals, and received two proposals without a TIF (one does have a smaller Community Improvement District), and one major development proposal using a large TIF package. In a normal world, it would be assumed the city would take the projects asking for either no subsidies or greatly reduced subsidies instead of the huge TIF, but Saint Louis does not operate under normal standards of free markets.
But, in excellent news, Kirkwood is going with the two proposals that did not ask for a TIF: a CVS pharmacy and a farmer’s market. Good for Kirkwood to say “yes” to free markets, competition, and actual capitalism.
The only good thing that would have come from the TIF is that I would have enjoyed the city having to declare “blighted” an intersection two-tenths of a mile from the richest city in America. That would have been fun to watch…