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Today's Question: Regulating TDDs

Wednesday, May 27, 2009 | 12:06 p.m. CDT

Missouri legislators are trying to create more regulation of transportation development districts through a few paragraphs in the General Assembly's economic development bill, passed on this session's last day.

The bill, which Gov. Jay Nixon is expected to sign, according to a Missourian report, adds four provisions to tax development district

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  •  All TDD sales taxes must be collected by the Missouri Department of Revenue,
  • TDDs will receive a $500-per-day fine if their administrators fail to submit annual financial reports to the state auditor,
  • Judges must order a public hearing before the creation of the district,
  • And those applying for the status, estimate their spending on road projects and land acquisition.

Rep. Tim Flook, R-Liberty, said that it is intended not only to create jobs but also to enact “solid reform” on tax programs such as TDDs, tax-increment financing and historic preservation credits, according to the Missourian report.

Flook added that programs like these need to be more closely monitored.

Columbia has 13 transportation development districts that have collected a total $8.4 million from Columbia shoppers over the last three years.

Supporters of TDDs, such as the district board members and the attorneys representing them, say the 0.5 percent sales tax collected has financed public street projects that might never have gotten off the ground, and nothing illegal is going on.

Columbia attorney Craig Van Matre's firm represents seven of Columbia’s TDDs.

“We have done what I think the law requires all TDDs to do,” Van Matre said. “We have collected the money, spent it on what it is supposed to be spent on, accounted for it, documented it, played the game by the rules.”

Do you feel more confident in future TDDs if the state monitors them more closely?


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