Missouri needs TIF reform. Senate Bill 774 is a beneficial compromise on the subject of TIF. The combination of a very large number of local governments and the inclusion of sales taxation in Missouri TIF law has been a dangerous mixture. By one measure, Missouri local governments use TIF more than all but two other states.1 Missouri’s many cities have readily engaged TIF in order to increase the sales taxes they collect. This leaves other taxing districts, such as school districts — which depend more on property taxation — holding the empty bag. Originally intended as a treatment for “blight,” TIF has been aggressively used throughout Missouri’s wealthier areas. SB 774 addresses this concern, in part, by limiting the use of TIF in projects where a city goes forward without county TIF commission approval to factors that directly address the condition of the property: demolition, clearing, and grading.
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