Public goods against public money: the new city hall team shakes up the incentive game in Saint-Louis | Politics
Although the city has started to reduce incentives and take a more analytical approach in recent years, the city has held to negotiations on the amount of the incentives, giving the process a bit more certainty.
Today, under the Jones administration, negotiations over incentives are about much more than the amount of tax breaks. Affordable housing, contributions to public schools and other public contributions are on the table.
“If they want public funds, they have to produce public goods,” Fefer said. âThe townspeople have made it clear that they take this very seriously. “
Fefer and Richardson said they were working on establishing some guidelines. A new âeconomic justice action planâ being developed that SLDC staff had hoped to release this month will include some of these criteria. It is now slated for deployment in March, Richardson said.
âThere is no cookie cutter approach to this,â said Richardson. âWe still have to be active partners. Like any other investor, they have a set of criteria that you have to meet and then you trade from there. We need to set the benchmark, that’s what we’re waiting for. “
For Fefer and Richardson, incentives represent key levers in implementing what they say is Jones’ vision for equitable growth – a vision that they believe will ultimately help the economy and population growth by encouraging mixed income communities and reducing concentrated poverty.