The Expense of Tax-Increment Financing

A new report from the Cato Institute says that tax-increment financing (TIFs) costs taxpayers $10 billion a year and the practice is growing by the minute.

TIFs are an economic development tool that basically subsidizes development based on future gain from increased land values, and often used to improve blighted neighborhoods. The Cato report argues that TIFs do not increase economic development.

Randal O'Toole wrote the report, and summarizes the results:

"At best, it [TIFs] moves development that would have taken place somewhere else in a community to the TIF district. That means it generates no net tax revenues, so the TIF district effectively takes taxes from schools and other tax entities."

Full Story: Halting TIF's Rapid Growth



Geez, read a little closer

O'Toole doesn't just agree with Cato's assessment; he *wrote* the report for Cato. He's just promoting his own paper--which if Planetizen cared about quality, they'd stop doing for him.
Mike Stanger

Tim Halbur's picture
Blogger / Alum

Regret the error


I regret not checking the original report to see that indeed Randal was quoting from his own material. I do stand by Planetizen's policy of remaining non-partisan and presenting differing viewpoints on issues such as tax-increment financing. If you do not agree with Mr. O'Toole's point of view, I welcome you to voice your opinion here.


Tim Halbur
Managing Editor

building block set

NEW! Build the world you want to see

Irresistible block set for adults when placed on a coffee table or desk, and great fun for kids.

Prepare for the AICP* Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $245
AICP CTP Storefont Display

The first online AICP* CTP exam prep class

Are you ready to take the AICP* Certified Transportation Planner exam?
Priced at $245 for May exam!
Book cover of the Guide to Graduate Planning Programs 4th Edition

Thinking about Grad School?

The Planetizen Guide to Graduate Urban Planning Programs is the only comprehensive ranking and listing of graduate urban planning programs available.
Starting at $24.95