Civil Discourse Now

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TIFs: fiscal cancer that only Federal legislation can excise.

Cancer a boring topic? Not people who have it. We all face a fiscal cancer that Federal legislation should ban. TIFs - Tax Increment Financing Districts - were created in California in the 1950s to develop urban wastelands.
TIFs arose from the notion that where the free market could not lure development, government bonds could be issued to spur that development. TIFs are a variation of the old con game of “blue sky”: & the bait works.
TIFs: a line is drawn around an area to be developed (“footprint”). Developers’ rosy pictures equal huge numbers in property taxes generated by development. The first monies are supposed to go paying off bonds issued for the subsidies for the developments.
TIFs are dreams (or hallucinations): why have vacant lots there? Developers will erect mixed development structures, owners will pay property taxes, residents will have jobs and etcetera.
TIFs (the reality): development occurs where it would occur anyway. In Indianapolis more apartments are built than people who are tenants. Developers bear no risk - & risk is an important part of free market ideology - because, hey, government backs the bonds.
TIFs, in practice, pass poor areas & like cancer cells kill the body (city services still are needed in TIF districts) in favor of something (“blue sky” painted by developers) that rarely exist: the bluer the “sky” the more (delusional) money.
TIFs were made illegal in California for a reason. They become too easily abused by developers who take the money and leave the debt of bond repayment to the taxpayers. The bait works, but the taxpayers get stuck by the hook.
TIFs: a gimmick that replace prudent city fiscal planning with “magic” except, as Vernon Dursley says: “There is no such thing as magic!” I would add—especially when it comes to municipal fiscal planning.
TIFs are an example of why Federal authority needs to step in and stop idiocy on State and local levels. Otherwise, States &locals will whore themselves out. TIFs were developed in California in the 1950s and have spread across the Nation ever since.
TIFs: If “conservative” as a philosophy equals fiscal prudence, then TIFs should be outlawed. They are like credit card adds for college first years on bulletin boards, except nastier and with the weight of State and local governments for enforcement.
I am Mark Small, a GOP candidate for U.S. House in Indiana’s 5th Congressional District. I am proud to be a progressive - pro-choice, pro-environment and anti-militarism - and carry on that tradition of the Grand Old Party. I approve of this blog. Hell, I wrote it.

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