Developer Rejects TIFs!

Missouri real estate developer Fred DeMarco published an op-ed piece in the Columbia Daily Tribune entitled “TIFs are a growth industry” where he rejects the notion of being subsidized by the public to do his job.

“In the late 1990s, I bought an empty lot at Tenth and Elm streets, a site surrounded by parking lots. I built a 25,000-square-foot building, and now the surrounding area is crowded with apartments. A new building next to us on Ninth Street is offered for lease at $35 per square foot. This is big-city rent. And it was done without a TIF.

I told a private TIF company I was interested in getting a TIF for a development in Columbia. They said, “No problem.” I asked if they wanted to know where I wanted it, and they said, “If you have enough money, we can get you one in the middle of Faurot Field.”

I believe them!

This is big business. Check how many companies help developers obtain TIFs.

Investors bought the Tiger Hotel during the real estate boom, then later looked for a way to get out of it. Other businesspeople might have lowered the price and taken their loss. Instead, the Tiger investors came up with the TIF idea and convinced the right people.

Ninety-five percent of the public has no idea how TIFs work, just like other complicated financial tools used by the rich to make money — and to confuse the normal person.”

Listen to Fred – he should know. Thanks for being honest about TIFs, Fred!

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