Session Notes: TIF Reform Gets Approval, But More Needs To Be Done
In a victory for good governance, the Missouri legislature passed important tax increment financing (TIF) legislation, which I wrote about at some length before. Congratulations to all the stakeholders and policymakers who have pushed for changes to the state's local tax incentive laws for years, including current and former Show-Me Institute staff members.
The TIF reform passed here deals primarily with St. Louis region tax incentive practices, which—while a step in the right direction—do not represent the sort of comprehensive, statewide tax incentive solution that Missouri ultimately needs. As my colleague Patrick Tuohey would remind us, TIF abuse is a problem that permeates all parts of the state, including and especially Kansas City. While restricting the geographic scope of this measure may have been the only way to ensure any TIF reform passed this year, we hope that broader changes to TIF are in the offing next year.
That said, the law's passage marks an important moment in the fight for tax incentive reform. Missouri and its localities have a long way to go to curb the cronyism embedded in the state's tax incentive culture, but it's encouraging to see progress being made on the issue.