- Marble Hill fires entire sewer department (8/23/16)4
- Witness says he saw man shoot Domorlo McCaster (8/19/16)2
- Students move into new fraternity housing at Southeast Missouri State University (8/18/16)2
- Southeast imposes 'interim suspension' of Sigma Nu fraternity over vandalism incident (8/19/16)21
- Ex-Southeast student gets probation for placing homemade sex video on porn site without woman's knowledge (8/24/16)11
- The Chrome Queens (8/21/16)2
- Pitmasters to descend on Arena Park for Cape BBQ Fest (8/19/16)2
- Logan's Roadhouse in Cape not closing; Ruby Tuesday fate still unknown (8/17/16)
- Local private school dreams bigger, plans for new building at Sprigg and Lexington (8/22/16)
- Gender-neutral restrooms now available at Southeast (8/18/16)38
TIF should bring more jobs, taxes, little cost to city
To the editor:
Residential development has always been an expensive and speculative undertaking. The cost of building proper roads and providing utilities can be extraordinarily expensive, particularly in a town as hilly as Cape Girardeau.
The traditional way to keep development costs down is to build in rough rectangles with deep but relatively narrow lots. This allows a maximum number of lots to be served with a minimum amount of roads, sewers, water lines and storm drainage.
Home-buying tastes have shifted. Consumers seem to want large, sprawling lots on twisting and winding roads. Such development is exceptionally expensive when done properly.
Now enter the proposed residential tax-increment financing proposal. About 700 homes on 900 acres results in a lot size about five times greater than the norm instead of the 3,000-plus homes such an area could accommodate. Even the reduced TIF request ($9 million) amounts to nearly $13,000 per lot. The original request was for nearly $43,000 per lot.
The developer's argument that TIF revenue is essentially found money by being property tax above the current valuation does not hold water. While all of the bonds are being repaid over many years, the city and schools must still provide services. With a city budget already in crisis, this is sheer lunacy.
Let TIFs be used for the purpose truly intended: industrial and commercial development that brings in jobs, increases tax revenue and costs little in the way of city-required maintenance and services.
MICHAEL W. THIES