There has been a growing concern in the constellation of public entities that are dependent on property taxes about the increasing use of tax incentives by the economic development community. There is also concern that there is little awareness of the amount of funding that is either being abated so that it is never collected and displayed in aggregate for people to be aware of a reality that is generally hidden. It is based on the preferred story of the economic development community which is that there is no deterioration in the amount of taxes collected. They argue that there would be no project without the incentive, and thus there is nothing lost. not on behalf of the library patrons of Missouri, or is being diverted and used for purposes other than advancing the development of those institutions. On the other hand, the taxing jurisdictions are more prone to a position that says that their ability to expand services to match the results of economic development and growing demands for services are truncated. Growth is occurring, but there is not a parallel growth in tax revenues flowing to the taxing jurisdictions.
For that reason, the Kauffman Foundation has sought to increase its understanding of this dynamic. As will be shown with the results that follow, the districts that are being impacted to the largest extend are those in the urban areas. Those are also the districts that are being called upon to enhance their performance. Increased performance is also critical to effective economic development. So, the cities that control the decisions are trading off two economic development goods. However, the business impact is both visible and immediate. That tends to tip the scale in the decision process. A grant was made to Park University for the purpose of quantifying the impact of the incentives and to look at trends over the nine-year span for which such data is available.