Friday, February 02, 2007

City Defends Use of TIF for Ballpark Village

The City of St. Louis was on KMOX yesterday in the person of Jeff Rainford, Chief of Staff in the Mayor's Office, defending the use of TIF for the proposed Ballpark Village project. Based on current site conditions, KMOX was questioning the use of TIF. KMOX was asking whether the Cardinals organization itself had caused the blight by creating the unsightly hole in the ground following the demolition of the old Busch Stadium.

Mr. Rainford explained that current site conditions are temporary until the start of Ballpark Village construction. He then raised important issues relative to the definition of blight. Rainford suggested state law on TIF be revised to target incentives to distressed communities. He went on to identify a number of facts supporting the definition of St. Louis as a distressed community (including household income levels, percent in poverty, and history of job and population losses).
What's your take?


stlmark said...

TIFs seem to be incentive for developers and builders. STL needs smart development and building. Sounds like a good thing to me. Sure developers and builders are already well funded or rich, but if this is what it takes to get things moving around here, than go for it. The baseball experience is a joke before and after the games on the streets surrounding the stadium. If this is baseball heaven, we need to pony up and make it a place for people to stay and spend $$$$ in the city.

Urban Review said...

Gee, I thought we were world leaders in addressing the issues Rainford cites? Funny how they bring up things like jobs and poverty yet set up TIFs on some of the most valuable land in the city. Can we honestly say that if a TIF were not used the land would remain vacant? Doubtful.

Rick Bonasch said...

Blight was defined early on in this case based on the obsolete conditions at the old Busch Stadium.

Using TIF to redevelop the area is consistent with state laws and allows the city to create a project with greater impact.

Anonymous said...

It is obscene how the city charges the earnings tax to everyone rich or poor who works in the city and then gives money away to rich developers.