Saturday, September 02, 2006

TIF-ing My Toolshed

If I were still writing songs I'd borrow the music from "I'm Going to Hire a Wino to Decorate Our Home" and write some lyrics about how I'm going to get a TIF to build my tool shed.

What produced that flight of fancy?

It was the Iowa City Press-Citizen's revelation this morning (September 2) that Coralville now has 19 active TIF districts! Nineteen, count 'em.

I'd say anyone who builds anything in Coralville, and doesn't get his or her snout in the public trough and suck out enough to get the city's taxpayers to pay for it, is a naive fool. Talk about "socialism for the rich and free private enterprise for the poor" -- especially given the fact these funds were supposed to be used for urban renewal of blighted areas, and affordable housing for the poor. Taxpayers pay the costs and developers keep the profit -- from selling multi-hundred-thousand dollar condos to the wealthy. What a sweet deal!

The matter came up in the course of a report of the latest dip into Iowa City taxpayers' pockets with a TIF of $1.3 million a year for 13 years to be given to the private developer who wants to build and profit from a $40 million, 13-story high rise in downtown Iowa City. Hieu Pham, "Developers Ask for TIF Money; Request Made to Fund Hieronymus Square High Rise," Iowa City Press-Citizen, September 2, 2006, p. 3A.

I figure if a town as small as Coralville can have 19 TIF districts those districts must be getting small enough that maybe I can get one to build my tool shed.

Think of the pay back in economic development for Ithe Iowa City-Coralville area as a result of all the tools I'll buy to fill it. Think of all the jobs that will be created with the people I'll have to hire to come on the property and repair the do-it-yourself projects I've mangled.

But of course there's no way I could pay for this myself, without a little help from a TIF. So that's why I'm asking local taxpayers to build it for me.

I could build the tool shed in Mexico I suppose -- or some neighboring state that would be willing to fund it for me. But, shucks, I'm a native Iowan and I'd really rather keep this "jobs program" and all the money it will pump into the local economy right here in good old Iowa. ("Go, Hawks!)

I figure, what's another TIF when you've already got 19, right? Twenty's kind of a round number.

"I'm going to get a TIF now
"To build my tool shed
". . ."

Additional lyrics welcome.


Anonymous said...

You used to write songs, too? Is there anything you HAVEN'T done?

Nick said...

Abigail: Yeah, I haven't finished this song. Lend me a hand with the lyrics. Do you know the melody?

I guess the meter's all you really need; something that would substitute for the following:

"I'm going to hire a wino
to decorate our home,
so you'll feel more at ease here,
and you won't need to roam.
We'll take out the dining room table
we'll put a bar along that wall,
and a neon sign will point the way
to our bathroom down the hall"

She said, "Just bring those Friday paychecks
and I'll cash them all right here.
And I'll keep on tap for all your friends
their favorite kind of beer.
And for you I'll always keep in stock
those soft aluminum cans,
and when you're feeling macho
you can crush'em, like a man."

-- Nick