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Guidelines for city of St. Louis development subsidies watered down



Specific parameters outlining where St. Louis developers should receive tax breaks — and how large they should be — are still six months or more away, the latest delay in the city’s efforts to reform the routinely granted subsidies.

Prompted by growing concern that the cash-strapped city should have better guidelines for how it doles out incentives, the city’s economic development office and the Board of Aldermen’s Housing, Urban Development and Zoning Committee unveiled a resolution establishing guidelines in June.

A measure setting those recommendations quietly passed the committee Wednesday.

But gone from the resolution were specific recommendations for the amount of incentives the city should offer based on the strength of a neighborhood. Instead, a far more general substitute was sent to the full board.

While the guidelines never would have been binding, economic development officials and aldermen had indicated they could help guide negotiations with developers and debate by city lawmakers.

The guidelines were supposed to serve as a stopgap measure until the city conducts a more in-depth economic development plan. But that proposal, too, has been delayed. Despite being a frequent topic during the mayoral election at the beginning of the year, St. Louis has yet to find funding for a citywide plan and there’s little indication it is close.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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