ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – The process of reforming incentive packages offered to builders is underway in St. Louis.
A second public forum on the subject was held in north St. Louis, where Molly Metzger from the Tower Grove East neighborhood chipped in her two-cents.
“The current proposal does not go far enough, there are no teeth in it, there’s nothing that would lead the public to believe that business as usual in the SLDC and the board of aldermen is going to change,” she says.
Donald DeVivo argued that something has to be done, because the current system is a disaster for the city.
“I think it’s why we’re in trouble we’re in today. Use of tax incentives have driven our finances down, our credit rating down, and our city population out. You just don’t run 30,000 people out of the city,” he says.
Alderman Joe Roddy agrees it’s time for reform, and the next year to year-and-a-half will determine what form those changes take.
“Can we agree to something so that we don’t have a bloodletting every time we have a new development bill coming before the board?” he says.
Some of the proposed guidelines include capping tax abatement at 75 percent for a maximum of five years, and limiting TIF dollars to 10 percent of the total project cost.
Critics believe St. Louis officials have been too generous in granting incentives for projects located in prosperous areas.