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The Pitfalls Of Tax-Increment Financing And The Need For Reform

The U.S. PIRG Education Fund has released "Tax-Increment Financing: The Need for Increased Transparency and Accountability in Local Economic Development Subsidies," a research report exloring the pitfalls of tax-increment financing used by cities to fund community development.

Among the problems identified:

  • Tax-increment financing sometimes fails to benefit the public
  • The process for creating and managing TIF districts often fails to protect the public

The report concludes that TIF should be narrowly targeted and temporary and should be governed in open, democratic processes. In addition, TIF district information should be easily accessible and developers should be held accountable for keeping promises made to secure TIF financing. To that end, the report says stronger guidelines and greater accountability are needed in the administration of tax-increment financing.

Read the executive summary and download the full report.