Over the weekend, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch printed an article about Paul McKee Jr., who is known for developing the Winghaven subdivision in St. Charles. Yet this article focused on the $100 million tax credit he lobbied for, through Lt. Governor Peter Kinder, and was put into the economic development bill in the last house session, which would give out a tax credit for people who redeveloped blighted urban areas in Missouri. McKee bought up hundreds of parcels of vacant properties in north St. Louis before this bill was created. To sum up, he would be the only person eligible for this tax credit at the moment:
In Jefferson City, criticism has focused on whether the tax credit bill
was designed solely for McKee. Some legislators were upset that the
far-reaching measure was tucked into the governor's economic
Also, at this moment, McKee seems to be a bad landlord for the more than 400 properties he owns, according to April Ford-Griffith, the alderman for the area that McKee has bought the most property in:
The alderman said that properties linked to McKee are left unkempt,
with uncut grass and open entrances that invite crime. She has heard
many complaints about the properties, though she said she does not know
what McKee plans.
Economic development in this sense is a bad thing. It's not the power of the market leading development here, but a bloated tax credit that, in itself, is a bad idea and it's developed for one person rather than for a whole group. Redevelopment should involved investors putting in their own money, not taking taxpayers' dollars to pay for what they want.