New Strategy On TIF Reform In Missouri
Last week, I testified in favor of Missouri House Bill 914 in Jefferson City. This latest attempt at Tax Increment Financing (TIF) reform is simply a cap on the size of individual TIF projects along with a total cap on the amount any one company (or “anchor tenant” in the definitions) can receive via TIF in Saint Louis, Saint Charles, and Jefferson Counties. I think the cap is justified and necessary. More importantly, I hope we can take this good step toward TIF reform in our state (even though the substitute version of the bill limits this reform to the Saint Louis region).
The language in the bill is admirably simple, maybe too simple. Clever lawyers will have little difficulty in getting around the caps and what I hope is the plain intent of the law. With that in mind, I hope the Missouri General Assembly strongly considers some of the language changes we suggested in the testimony. Those changes are not designed to change the bill, but simply to buttress the limits from the inevitable municipal end-runs.
The Missouri Municipal League (MML) testified against the TIF reforms, which restored order to the universe after the incident the previous week when the MML and I actually agreed on something.