ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – A $7 million tax break to help Laclede Gas move a few blocks to a new headquarters downtown is moving forward in the St. Louis Board of Aldermen.

By a vote of 24-1, the board on Friday perfected the language of the tax increment financing (TIF) deal to help Laclede.

“Laclede is in the expansion mode,” Aldermen Fred Wessels says. “They recently bought another gas company. Their board is a dynamic board. They plan to expand by acquisition.”

Alderwoman Phyllis Young, whose ward includes downtown, said the move is imperative to the area’s growth.

“The only way we continue to provide jobs in this city is by having a viable downtown and having businesses grow,” she said.

The lone “nay” vote came from Alderwoman Sharon Tyus who warned the city has lost the ability to say no on TIFs to corporations.

“If Laclede Gas wants to move from The Laclede Gas Building to another building when we don’t have any assurance that there is going to be another tenant that fits in there, then we are playing a game of chicken that we are losing,” Tyus warned.

The bill is expected to gain final passage next week.


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