Bernie has a bunch of dumb objections to it, despite supporting the worst TIF ever for the Chrin Interchange. That’s a development that’s not needed at all, and that Chrin previously said he could build using only his own money, without any government subsidies larded on. It is easily the worst possible use of development subsidies I have yet to encounter in my two years of blogging.
I’ll agree with Bernie on one thing – good projects succeed and bad projects fail, subsidies or no subsidies.
But that’s a case for electing people who can tell the difference between good projects and bad projects, not scrapping development subsidies altogether. You need to look at this stuff on a case-by-case basis.
In the case of the Silk Mill, the KOZ is helping a very good project get built sooner, in 5 years instead of 10, according to Sal Panto.
I’ll just note once again that all of these different acronym districts are trying to do exactly the same thing: lower the money/risk cost to developers, to induce them to build something.
The only political question in play here is whether you support government subsidies for development in general.
If you’re against development subsidies, that’s not a crazy position, but once you’ve decided there’s a role for government to play, the only questions left are technical, not political.
There are good technical reasons to prefer different tools for different projects, but to say you like one or dislike another for political reasons is just plain weird. They all do the same basic thing.
Arguably, all these different districts are just trying to mimic the effects of a land value tax. In the case of the Silk Mill I think the land value tax would work better. Split the millage rate into separate rates for land and building, lower the tax on buildings to zero, and raise the tax on land rents to whatever.
From the one side you’re enticing developers to build by totally removing the any tax disincentive to build, and from the other side you’re raising the cost of not building.