ST LOUIS, MO/January 4, 2017 (STLRealEstate.News) Any time a developer asks for a tax incentive package in the city of St. Louis today, they require the blessing of the St. Louis Development Corporation, or more commonly known as, the SLDC. St. Louis residents are starting to have a problem with this tradition, especially since they have no access or information about the SLDC from an outsider’s perspective. Even though incentives have become among the most hotly debated topics in the city in recent months, few residents can actually tell you anything about the corporation.
A few people have a problem with that, and they’re referring to themselves as Team TIF. It’s a loosely organized band of progressives that’s been questioning the city’s penchant for such deals. They are unveiling a new web-based project today, and calling it: A St. Louisan’s Guide to the SLDC. This site, in a series of slides and explanations, is going to explain what exactly it is that the corporation does, who’s on it, and in some cases, suggests various potential conflicts of interest the general public should know.
One Team TIF member, Molly Metzger, a Washington University professor by day, says that the group’s ultimate goal is to provide a counterweight to the real estate professionals and developers who tend to get involved with the corporation, leaving the general public’s interests on the backburner. Their goal is to pressure the city to take a harder line in negotiations with the corporation, using the city resources to instead help blighted areas and ensure affordable housing for those who need it.
Metzger and others argue that, in the end, when high-end projects don’t pay their share toward city services, that leaves less money for valuable city services like public schools or a police force. Team TIF is on a mission to be a force to reckon with in 2017.
Contributing Editor: Alexandra R. Fasulo
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