Advocates debate pros and cons of TIFs ahead of KC public vote

Marc LaVoie
May 14, 2019 - 7:08 am

KMBC Channel 9 News

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With a June vote scheduled for Kansas City residents to decide whether to cap the city's use of tax increment financing districts, people on both sides of the issue held a debate at a community meeting.

Tax increment financing (TIF) is an arrangement in which property taxes from a specified area are designated for a development project in that area. 

Some believe TIF funding diverts money away from schools and services for people in need.

“(TIFs are) vastly overused in Kansas City,” Bruce Eddy told KMBC Channel 9 News. Eddy works with the mental health fund. “We’ve got to get some sanity.”

Roxsen Koch sees TIFs as a way of incentivizing growth in areas that would otherwide remain in a state of blight. 

“If you take (TIFs) away, you’re never going to see the investment on the east side,” Koch said.

Voters will be asked to determine whether the city will lower its cap on tax incentives from 75 percent to 50 percent. The election is Tuesday, June 18.

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