To The Daily Sun,
Nobody wants their real estate taxes to increase during this troubled economy. We can't afford the increase, families are stressed enough with the cost of groceries and gas.
Tax Increment Financing is the difference between the amount of property tax revenue generated before TIF district designation and the amount of Property Tax Revenue generated after the TIF designation.
Although politicians portray TIFs as a great way to boost the local economy, there are hidden costs they don't want taxpayers to know about. Cities/towns generally assume they are not really giving anything up because the forgone tax revenue would not have been available in the absence of the development established by the TIF. This conclusion is often wrong.
The down side, and the word that is not spoken, is the shift of taxes being paid from the wealthy corporations to small businesses and regular citizens. Cities/towns giving tax breaks to that, put people out of business. The higher the property taxes, the more tax revenue to pay off development bonds.
The rest of us pay taxes for normal services like public safety, building inspections, and street maintenance and those services come out of the general fund. And as the costs go up, and the money from the general fund is given to these businesses through a TIF, the tax burden gets shifted to the regular people who don't have the same political clout. It's a crummy way to treat your tax paying, law abiding citizens. TIFs now appear in affluent neighborhood's subsidizing high-end housing developments, big box retailers and shopping malls.
TIFs subsidized big business at the expense of less influential competitors and ordinary citizens. Roads, sewers, and schools are public costs that come from growth. Unless spending is cut — and if a TIF really does generate economic growth — spending will rise. The burden of paying for these services will be forwarded to taxpayers. TIFs take away small business monies and give to large corporations, with the end result being the demise of the small-business owner.
In Dover the city council is pushing TIFs, in Concord they now have an advisory committee, and in Laconia, Edward Engler, editor and president of The Laconia Daily Sun, who is the mayor, likes TIFs. What is happening in your town/city. What is happening in Meredith?
- Category: Letters
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