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TIF Approved as an Economic Development Incentive Tool for Redevelopment of Blighted Farmland

By August 29, 2012September 30th, 2019Client Results

In a case argued by Michael T. White, the Missouri Court Of Appeals, Western District, on August 28, 2012 handed down its decision in an important tax increment financing Case, Great Rivers Habitat Alliance v. the City of St. Peters Missouri.  In this case, the Adolphus Bush trust, the Alliance, St. Charles County, and others challenged the City of St. Peter’s approval of a tax increment financing plan which was adopted in order to build a flood protection levee. The Plaintiffs claimed that the land in the TIF plan could not be “blighted” because it was farmland. However, the court held that farmland could be declared blighted. The court stated that because the farmland was subject to frequent flooding and because there was evidence of deterioration of improvements such as farm buildings and levies, the City’s finding of blight would not be second guessed. The court confirmed long standing Missouri economic development law that a finding of blight is legislative in nature and presumed to be valid.

This case reinforces the importance of having a thoroughly prepared TIF Plan or Economic Development Incentive Plan which satisfies the myriad statutory requirements.  White Goss has prepared TIF plans on behalf of both municipalities and private developers clients in both Missouri and Kansas.