In St. Louis tax break debate, aldermanic politics slow projects

Political feuding amid the ongoing debate to reform the use of tax incentives in the city of St. Louis is threatening to hold up at least one project — and possibly more.

St. Louis Alderman Joe Roddy, who chairs the Housing Urban Development and Zoning Committee, said he isn’t hearing bills granting development tax breaks until his committee passes a resolution setting guidelines for how and where those incentives will be approved.

He admits the tactic is to “create a sense of urgency” at St. Louis Development Corp., the city’s economic development office, to finish its review of the guidelines that were proposed this spring. He wanted more clarity on certain provisions open to interpretation.

But the holdup in his committee is tying up at least one bill being pushed by Alderman Megan Green, which would grant 10 years of property tax abatement for a 26-apartment, mixed-use project on Morganford Road.

Green blames Board of Aldermen President Lewis Reed for assigning the bill to Roddy’s committee and said the developer can’t close on financing until the abatement is granted.

Robert Maltby, a member of the development group, said he was “not really” concerned about the abatement being held up by aldermen but declined to comment further.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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