Reining In Tax Breaks For Developers

<p>In Kansas City, Missouri, voters just elected their former city auditor as their new mayor. One of the unlikely campaign issues: the use of tax increment financing for developers.</p>
March 29, 2007, 7am PDT | Heidi Schallberg
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Mark Funkhouser, Kansas City's auditor for 18 years, will now be the city's mayor for the next four years. He narrowly won over a two-term city councilman and mayor pro tem who has devoted his life to public service. Funkhouser's grassroots campaign didn't use a professional manager and spent half as much as his opponent's professionally-run campaign.

"The top issue in the contest between Funkhouser and Brooks, oddly enough, involved a complex and esoteric economic development incentive called tax increment financing. Few might have guessed that a debate over TIF would grab the public's attention. But at its heart, TIF was about equity and who controls city government - developers winning tax breaks or city officials."

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Published on Tuesday, March 27, 2007 in The Kansas City Star
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