CHESTERFIELD, Mo. – On Monday, November 21, there will be a very important meeting about a controversial tax incentive plan for the redevelopment of the old Chesterfield Mall site.
The issue is a conflict between the city of Chesterfield and the Parkway and Rockwood School districts over how many new students the massive new development will generate.
The proposed $353 million tax increment financing or ‘TIF’ package would pay for public infrastructure components of the Staenberg Group and CRG’s redevelopment plans for the old mall and surrounding areas.
Those projects include nearly 3,000 housing units, a hotel, and lots of office, retail, and restaurant space.
Chesterfield city officials believe the plans will add a total of 236 new students to the Parkway and Rockwood districts, but the districts project 842 new students. That difference is significant because more students equal more education funding.
School officials worry if they have inadequate TIF funding, that will hamper their ability to provide a high-quality education.
During the proposed TIF which could last 23 years, the additional property tax revenues don’t go to taxing authorities like school districts. Instead, they are diverted and used for other purposes. Once the TIF ends, then taxing authorities begin to receive additional revenues.
Here is what Parkway’s Chief Financial Officer and Chesterfield’s Mayor told us recently.
“They’re trying to insinuate that we’re taking money away from them, really this TIF is an opportunity for additional revenues to come to them,” Chesterfield Mayor Bob Nation explained.
Parkway’s Chief Financial Officer, Patty Bedborough, countered, “While we’re not contesting their revenue estimate, we also know it’s not necessarily an accurate picture of what it will be in 23 years.”
Chesterfield’s TIF Commission will meet Monday at 3:00 p.m. at Chesterfield City Hall on the TIF proposal. They could make a final recommendation during that meeting.
Ultimately, the Chesterfield City Council has the final say on the TIF, and the council does not have to follow the TIF Commission’s recommendation. However, Parkway officials said if the Chesterfield TIF Commission does not recommend the TF, but the City Council still approves it, then the TIF is significantly reduced and the TIF money can only be used for demolition and land clearing.
We’re told that would mean less of a financial impact on Parkway and Rockwood.