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TIF Taskforce Finalizes Report

By Maria Carter

Kansas City, MO – The Economic Development Taskforce finished its work last night, finalizing recommendations for a TIF policy. The policy recommendations include a point system that taskforce members say they hope balances business development with quality of life issues. KCUR's Maria Carter reports.

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Tax-increment financing or TIF has been a political lightening rod in Kansas City. The development incentive returns some of the additional tax revenues generated by project to developers to help pay for infrastructure and other improvements. But critics contend that Kansas City doled out the incentives too liberally, hurting the tax base while enriching developers. Supporters say TIF has led to development boom downtown. A taskforce called for by Mayor Mark Funkhouser has turned in its recommendations on how to balance development and the bottom line. Taskforce Chair Bill Haw says if the council adopts the recommendations one of the biggest changes will be more accountability.

Bill Haw: "We're going to be held to a much higher level of scrutiny on those things. And I hope there will be a great deal more disclosure about not just what the project is but what's the essence of the agreement behind the project."

The taskforce presents the report to the Mayo on Thursday.

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