St. Louis nears adoption of tax abatement policy

A new map to guide the use of residential property tax abatements in St. Louis could win adoption by the city’s Board of Aldermen on Friday.

The map, though not binding, would offer a clear set of guidelines for a tool commonly used in city development efforts but often applied inconsistently. It’s one piece of a larger push to develop uniform policies for development incentives in St. Louis.

Homebuyers can apply for property tax abatement in St. Louis, but sometimes the incentive is approved in economically strong neighborhoods. Critics say that hurts city revenue.

Last year, abatements in St. Louis resulted in close to $30 million of foregone tax revenue. Half of that would have gone to the city’s public schools.

City officials have spent the last few years re-evaluating their use of the incentive.

Read more: St. Louis Post-Dispatch

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