To the editor:
According to the Missouri Department of Economic Development, a TIF project must be in a state enterprise zone, federal empowerment zone, urban core area or central business district. The area must be "blighted" and have a reduced level of population or real property value. The proposed project here has had multimillion-dollar homes built during the past several years across the street. Only in someone's wildest dreams would this area qualify as blighted.
An 11-member commission is to be appointed and an economic impact report is required.
Who is on our commission and when and where does it meet? When is this project going to be presented to the city for consideration? Has the economic-impact study been published, and where is it available for study? Real blighted areas of our community are struggling for improvements. If TIFs are used to build for this project, the chances of continued approval for the use of TIFs would and should be in jeopardy. The people should not allow their tax money to be used to support development for the wealthy.
Promises of developers to make payments at least equal to the tax loss are reminiscent of promises made that no Missouri tax funds would ever be used to pay off the TWA dome.
TIF is designed to improve blighted areas, make those areas stronger, return them to former glory and benefit the entire community, not a chosen few at a cost to all.