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Laclede Gas Under Fire Over Proposed Tax Break

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Photo by: Kevin Killeen, KMOX

Photo by: Kevin Killeen, KMOX

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ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A tax break proposed for Laclede Gas to move to a different building is drawing fire from protestors.

That new building is just a few blocks from the company’s current location in downtown St. Louis.

Protestors say it’s wrong for Laclede to have made $62 million in profits last year, to seek an $8 million city tax break to move from its current location on Olive a few blocks away to the vacant GenAmerica building on Market street.

In a press release, Arielle Klagsbrun of the Take Back St. Louis campaign said, “This TIF does not create new jobs for downtown – instead it will just shuffle jobs from the Laclede building to the GenAmerica building, leaving another building partially vacant.”

Jenny Gobble, manager of external communications for The Laclede Group, released this statement in response:

“As we continue our effort to find the office space for our company, we need to make smart business decisions. It is important that no matter where we go, the cost of the lease works for our customers, shareholders, employees and community. Tax Increment Financing is available through the City of St. Louis. The Koman Group is applying for this financing for the building at 700 Market. This incentive helps us to focus our current efforts on staying within the city. While no final decisions have been made and no contracts signed, if Laclede Group relocates to 700 Market, we would occupy a building that has been vacant for 10 years. These efforts would revitalize an architectural landmark in the heart of our city.”

The city’s tax increment financing commission takes up the issue Wednesday morning.

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