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State audit of St. Louis to scrutinize tax abatement, TIF

Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway will review St. Louis’ use of economic incentives, including tax abatement and tax increment financing, as part of her comprehensive audit of the city. Galloway, who agreed in January to audit St. Louis, said conversations with residents in recent weeks have led her to focus on incentives offered by St. Louis Development Corp.

The last time the state audited St. Louis, from 2008 to 2010, the city’s development arm did not get a full review.

Galloway has started examining whether recommendations from the last audit have been carried out, and she’s reviewing the city’s Supply Division, which is responsible for purchasing for much of St. Louis government.

The incentives Galloway is investigating have been a subject of increased scrutiny recently. Critics say they rob the city of needed tax revenue. Supporters counter that they’re necessary because of St. Louis’ combination of high construction costs and low rents, and that they pave the way for revenue that wouldn’t be generated otherwise.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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