The dirty little secret that nobody seems to want to recognize, or even attempt to uncover, is that EEZ, Tax Increment Financing (TIF), Community Improvement Districts (CID), and other subsidies do not work. They do not succeed in growing the local economy. The panoply of subsidies that come into play when a large area is declared blighted can have a number of adverse side effects. They shrink the local tax base, encourage more government planning of the economy, and increase the chances of eminent domain abuse. As a famous Swedish economist once said, “It is not by planting trees or subsidizing tree planting in a desert created by politicians that the government can promote . . . industry, but by refraining from measures that create a desert environment."

About the Author

David Stokes
David Stokes was a policy analyst at the Show-Me Institute from 2007 to 2014 and was director of development from 2014 to 2016.