tbspqr wrote:+Moratorium on Replication (No TIFs if the same store exists within 20 miles - exempting new stores like IKEA)
Why this exemption? I get that a lot of people want new national/region chain stores like IKEA to come, but isn't the underlying logic the same? I guess this would solve the problem of a Wal-Mart moving across a municipal boundary, but the overarching point is that these developments either make sense or not for the company. If we didn't provide a TIF for IKEA, if IKEA thought they could still make money they would move in anyway, they just might not move in to the area we wanted them to. I think TIFs are best used as a way to direct growth to a certain area (e.g., run-down or abandoned areas), not as ways to lure in certain companies.
My proposed TIF rules:
1. No TIFs for greenfields.
2. All TIFs have to be approved by a joint St. Louis City-St. Louis County board. For all I care, let every municipality have a vote. With all the municipal in-fighting we have, that might get rid of TIFs entirely.
I understand the sentiment "if it made business sense businesses would come regardless". A knee jerk reaction of "eliminate all TIFS" to counter the suburbs extreme "TIF everything" isn't the answer. Look what that "wait and we will see", "market rate development" approach did for the north side over the past 70 years (I know its not that simple- crime, schools, national policy etc; just making a point). A compromise is needed, a checks and balance system to get the badly needed re-development, along with the associated long term jobs, tax base and stability it could offer. If a site isn't a greenfield, but it is blighted in the sense that it no longer has any viable use as is, in my opinion the "right kind of development" could be a good target for a TIF.
What do I mean by the "right kind of development"? The right kind has a net gain of permanent jobs/services. The wrong kind is one which plays location musical chairs at tax payer expense (with excess infrastructure, and unused buildings and surface parking left behind). Sure, we'd all prefer "right kind of development" to specifically demand dense & mixed use developments... but lets be realistic as to what can be demanded at these sites.
The 20 mile limit I proposed is just that if (pure hypothetical example) Spanish Lake builds a new Wal-mart, because of distance and availability of other options in between, that new store wouldn't specifically affects South STLCounty. Likewise, if the South County Walmart were to close, it probably then wouldn't be a result of the new Spanish Lake Walmart. It was an arbitrary distance, but the overall idea is TIFs are a good tool, if not abused. How does one say when it is effective and when is it abused? My answer came to an easily quantifiable distance and a net gain of jobs the region as a whole (city/county agglomeration).