"Too often, people are elected to the city council or county board of supervisors, and they quickly feel the need to start building things to justify the reason they were elected. It is far too rare that folks are elected because they have an interest in honoring the taxpayers that are footing the bill."
The City of Des Moines plans to give 100% of the revenue from a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) district to property developers. The price tag for this development could reach $1 billion. Is that fair? ITR Foundation (ITRF) President Chris Ingstad is a student of TIF and has answers to some very basic questions: Is there any evidence to show that this will boost overall economic activity, and are these incentives really necessary? Will individual taxpayers benefit in any way?
ITRF Policy Director Sarah Curry is in the studio to talk about how NOT to do property tax relief. Nebraska has a convoluted system of income tax credits meant to offset local property taxes. Amazingly, the majority of Nebraskans don't even claim the credit. When it comes to tax policy, simpler is better. As Iowa looks at property tax relief, what lessons can we learn from our neighbors to the West?