Despite Citizen Concerns, TIF Commission Approves $8.1 Million TIF to Laclede
Critics Point to Out of Control Tax Breaks and the Take Back St. Louis Initiative
ST. LOUIS -- Today, the TIF Commission voted to recommend approval to the Board of Alderman on a bill to give the Koman Group$8.1 million in tax increment financing (TIF) for Laclede Gas to move three blocks downtown to 706 Market. The TIF Commission voted with 4 yeses and 1 abstention, despite many citizens testifying with concerns about the proposal. Citizens with Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) and the Take Back St. Louis campaign held signs and chanted when the Commission voted.
Critics pointed to the Take Back St. Louis initiative which would stop the city from giving public financial incentives to extraction companies, including Laclede, and instead redirect city development dollars towards vacant land for renewable energy and sustainability projects, as reason to delay the vote on the project. Citizens also brought up questions regarding why millionaire corporations need tax breaks, how this proposal will just leave Laclede’s existing building vacant and if...
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 28, 2013
Take Back St. Louis and MORE Demand Laclede Rescind Request for $8 Million TIF
Group Puts Pressure on Laclede and TIF Commissioners Ahead of Wednesday TIF Meeting
ST. LOUIS -- Today, a group of St. Louis citizens with Missourians Organizing for Reform and Empowerment (MORE) and the Take Back St. Louis campaign gathered downtown to deliver a letter to Laclede Gas, asking the company to rescind its developer’s application for an $8 million TIF (tax increment financing) package to move three blocks downtown. The group presented Laclede with a large gas bill, illustrating the company’s $62 million in profit last year and chanted “we want our city green and healthy, no more tax breaks for the wealthy.” Police blocked all doors to the building and refused to take a letter to Laclede CEO Suzanne Sitherwood. The group also delivered letters to TIF Commissioners, urging them to vote down Laclede’s developer’s proposal at Wednesday’s TIF Commission hearing.
“Many of us worked for months to collect 36,000 signatures for the Take Back St. Louis initiative, which would stop...
October 28, 2013
Dear TIF Commission,
For nearly a year now, hundreds of city residents have been involved with the Take Back St. Louis campaign. We collected over 36,000 signatures for the initiative to get it on the ballot and are currently waiting for an election date, presumably in 2014. The Take Back St. Louis initiative would change the city charter to assert citizens’ right to a sustainable energy future, end incentives such as TIFs from going to fossil fuel extraction companies and any company doing $1 million of business with an extraction company and encourage incentives from renewable energy and sustainability initiatives. The current proposed $8.1 million TIF for Laclede Gas would violate the Take Back St. Louis initiative should it pass. Since over 36,000 city residents would like a chance to vote on the future of development in St. Louis, we request that you postpone consideration of the Laclede TIF package until after the vote on the Take Back St. Louis initiative.
The Take Back St. Louis initiative came out of an on going concern with how the city think about development policies; this proposed TIF to Laclede...
On October 30, the St. Louis TIF Commission will hear the Koman Group’s application for $8.1 in tax increment financing for the Laclede Group. We urge the TIF Commission to deny this application until residents in the City of St. Louis can vote on the Take Back St. Louis initiative. The Take Back St. Louis initiative would end public money from going to companies like Laclede because this is exactly the flawed approach to development that the initiative seeks to end. We believe that public money should be used to stimulate a local, green economy in St. Louis, not to subsidize large companies that make millions of dollars per year. In 2012, the Laclede Group brought in $62.6 million in profit, while defending the use of the fracking as a way to extract natural gas.
Laclede is hoping to move into the GenAm building on Market. This building has indeed been vacant for years; however, by moving, Laclede will leave its current building on Olive vacant as well. How does this reduce vacant property and create jobs for people in St. Louis? This is yet another example of a “race to the bottom” approach to...
St. Louis is about to have a vote to decide the future of Big Coal in the city. Just days ago, the St. Louis Board of Elections verified that the Take Back St. Louis Ballot Initiative had 960 signatures more than necessary, thereby guaranteeing its spot on the ballot. In other words, residents of St. Louis think that continued tax breaks to coal corporations should be brought to the ballot. In the battle against coal and other extractive industries, we are opening up a new front in which we directly target the subsidization of their corporate headquarters and subsequently, their profits.
Acting fearlessly, groups across the country seeking to curb climate calamity have intensified action against extraction sites, pipeline routes, power plants, refineries, and corporate targets. As fossil fuel corporations continue business as usual, the stakes in the climate crisis rise; groups have escalated their tactics in order to demand a change.
Meanwhile, in the land of coal corporate headquarters, corporations like Peabody Coal take public money in a “race to the bottom” which gives corporations control over our tax dollars. Over the past decade, the city of St. Louis has given “aggressive incentives” to private-sector corporations, while fundamental services in...