KANSAS CITY, MO – Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders announced today that Jackson County notified the attorney for the City of Kansas City, the attorney for the Kansas City TIF Commission, and the Mayor of Kansas City of its intent to sue in an effort to reform a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) process that violates Missouri State law and denies the taxpayers of Jackson County a voice in how their tax dollars are being spent.
“Jackson County supports the use of TIF when it is used as a legitimate tool for economic development but the law requires that all taxpayers must be represented for the TIF process to be fair, accountable and legal,” Sanders stated. Jackson County views reforming the TIF process as essential to helping restore the public’s confidence in a process that has fallen out of favor and in safeguarding public dollars for essential public services such as law enforcement, fire protection, road maintenance, libraries and the education of our children.
In 1991, Kansas City passed an ordinance creating its TIF Commission which was comprised of 6 members, all appointed by the Mayor. Six years later, in 1997, the Missouri legislature changed the landscape for TIF Commissions by passing the Missouri TIF Act, which mandated that, before any city could approve any TIF project or plan, that it “shall create a Commission of 11 persons.”
Sanders went on to say that, “Reform must come to the TIF process. Whether by a new city ordinance, a court order or new legislation in Jefferson City, the current TIF process must be reformed so that it is accountable and is better designed to serve the public interests it was created to support.”