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Final Report reveals billions of public tax dollars diverted for private development, benefits hard to find

Three years ago, the East-West Gateway Board of Directors directed the metropolitan planning organization’s research staff to study the effectiveness of local development incentives. The board wanted an inventory of the incentives granted by local governments, an account of the resulting economic activity from the projects financed by the incentives, and the effect these incentives had on the ability of local governments to finance essential public services.

The reports released at the board’s Jan. 26th meeting was not chock full of good news.

In the last 20 years, local governments in the St. Louis metro area have diverted more than $5.8 billion in public tax dollars to subsidize private development.

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