Letter to the Editor

Taxpayers need opportunity to be heard on TIF plan

Tuesday, January 14, 2003

To the editor:

In response to the article "District, developers closer on TIF accord": After reading recent editorials, I feel input from a taxpayer is necessary. There has not been a Tax Increment Financing Commission meeting for a long time. I do not think the commission can OK a project without a open hearing for the taxpayers.

There were many questions at the last meeting of the TIF commission. So far I have not seen or heard any answers.

For the paper I quote, "Prestwick has offered pay up to $8 million for a new elementary school if the development produces enough students to warrant a new school in the area." There is that "if" again. This project is based on "if." If Prestwick is so sure, let them put up a $30 million performance bond. If they fail to do the project in the time frame or go under, the city and school board would share in the funds.

The way around this whole mess is to go by the guidelines that Mark Bowles, school superintendent, suggested in November. If this TIF plan is passed, there will be a number of builders to get on the bandwagon and used the taxpayers' taxes as a way increase their profit. Taxpayers need to express their concerns. Apathy will raise our taxes.

JOHN R. HECKROTTE

Cape Girardeau