The TIF vampire lives | Arkansas Blog

The TIF vampire lives



The Arkansas Supreme Court made it clear that the 25 mills in state-mandated base school property tax support can't be captured for Tax Increment Finance (corporate welfare) districts. But that ruling didn't drive a stake through the heart of greedy developers looking to steal school taxes to subsidize their projects. The Iconoclast notes that one such developer is still trolling in Johnson for surplus millage (beyond the 25 mills) there, just as NLR Mayor Pat Hays still wants to rip about 14 mills of NLR school taxes away from children and put it in the hands of a sporting goods store. It might be an even more egregious scam in Johnson, which, as The Iconoclast notes, is hardly a blighted area.

I still say the Arkansas Constitution prohibits use of school millage for any purpose other than that for which it was voted -- school operation. If the TIF amendment didn't override the earlier state-mandated base millage amendment, it certainly didn't override this original constitutional precept. Could be another lawsuit will be needed to make it clear once and for all that developers must apply the usual free market principles to their decisions, not continue to seek socialized shopping centers.

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