"The Iowa City Council decided in a 6-1 vote Tuesday night to allow CORE Sycamore Town Center LLC to convert the Iowa City Marketplace’s vacant anchor space into Lucky's Market, a Boulder, Colo.-based grocery chain . . .."
-- Andy Davis, "Iowa City Marketplace receives $1.75 M in TIF aid," Iowa City Press-Citizen, November 19, 2014
Iowa City Press-Citizen, November 23, 2014, p. A5
Hats off to Iowa City Councilor Jim Throgmorton for thinking, speaking and voting rationally regarding his colleagues’ generous $1.75 million gift of your money and mine to a Colorado corporation. (It’s the second such gift to the Sycamore Mall, after the first proved, once again, that TIFs very often don’t deliver on their backers’ expectations.)
For 41 previous columns and blog essays detailing a dozen categories of reasons why transferring taxpayers’ money to the bottom line of private citizens’ for-profit businesses is bad for taxpayers, consumers, competitors of the recipients, the general economy, neighboring communities and governments, see “TIFs: Links to Blog Essays,” http://fromdc2iowa.blogspot.com/2014/03/tifs-links-to-blog-essays.html.
And hats off to Andy Davis and the Press-Citizen for not limiting their TIF story (”City Council votes to provide funds to improve Marketplace,” Nov. 19) to quotes from council members’ swooning over the glories of TIFs. Included within it we find:
“Councilor Jim Throgmorton ... voiced his concerns during the meeting about whether TIF money should be used for the project. ‘One normally thinks of a TIF as an incentive. I’m not yet persuaded that the owners need support from the city to take actions that are already in their own economic self-interest.’ ”
His judgment is supported, in another TIF district, by two of those bidding for the former St. Patrick Church property. They’re also able to profit within a pure capitalist system, with no need for taxpayers’ money.
Given our councilors’ untreated addiction to TIFs, and their repeated refusals even to acknowledge the harms, they leave voters with no other option than to oppose their re-election.