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Monday, May 19, 2008

Eastern Iowa Conservative: TIFs: Taxation without representation

Excerpted from this post at Eastern Iowa Conservative

Radio Iowa did a great piece yesterday on University of Iowa Professor
Peter Fisher, who did a great job summarizing the pitfalls of Tax
Increment Financing (TIF). In the article, Fisher brings up an
excellent point - If you want to build a school, you must put it to a
vote and get 60% of voters to support funding the project. Fisher
notes that "As soon as [something] becomes a TIF project, that voting
requirement disappears. It's automatically exempt from a voter
referendum." He's right. To create a TIF district, all it generally
takes is a majority vote of a City Council to pass. Fisher also makes
a good point about giving tax breaks to struggling shopping malls
trying to keep up with newer competitors. ... Why subsidize something
that is failing? If the general public won't support it, why should a
city try to prop it up?


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