19 February 2008

are TIFs an answer?

from the GLUEspace blog:
"Three main ingredients are essential to spur the economic development that each of our Great Lakes cities sorely needs: smart people, good ideas and financing. I will talk here about one possible piece to the financing puzzle.

Tax Increment Financing (TIF) is a tool at the disposal of municipal governments throughout the United States. In the seven-county Milwaukee region alone, over $8.5 billion of property wealth is flowing toward TIF districts. These districts fund industrial, retail, residential and office real estate development in both urban and rural settings. Some criticize TIF as “corporate welfare” and, indeed, in some cases the tool has been wielded improperly. Fortunately, TIF is being increasingly used by cities to fund ambitious and far-sighted community development projects.

The challenge is to move beyond thinking of TIF as merely a “project-based” tool and start thinking of it as a way to achieve regional and community development goals, as we build our niche in the global marketplace. Proactive regional leadership is vital to achieving such a paradigm shift. TIF can be an powerful tool for the evolution of our cities."

more here.

More on the Beltline here.

note: It's been fun to see this project go from a master's thesis at Georgia Tech to a multi-billion dollar project. Good work Ryan . . .

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