City of Chesterfield, local school districts at odds over impact of tax incentives for Chesterfield Mall development
CHESTERFIELD (KMOV) - The Macy’s inside Chesterfield Mall is expected to close any day now as plans to demolish and revamp the site of the 46-year-old mall have moved closer to reality.
On Tuesday night a 12-member TIF Commission weighed the $353 million tax incentive financing package for two major developments in Chesterfield.
The planned redevelopment of Chesterfield Mall and the neighboring Wildhorse Village development will revamp the southwest portion of the city.
But the Parkway and Rockwood School districts are raising concerns over the TIF proposal.
In a letter to the City of Chesterfield, the school districts say the proposal has significant implications for taxpayers and families.
“The project as proposed shows over 3,350 new residential units in Parkway and Rockwood. That is approximately 835 new students. By 2030, we project the cost of educating those 835 students will be over $16 million annually. Unlike a normal residential build, there will be no new revenues to the schools to pay for their education. The total loss for our community, schools and taxpayers is estimated at over $220 million dollars over the next 20 years,” the letter reads.
Read the full letter here:
But Chesterfield City Manager Mike Geisel disagrees with the districts’ numbers. The city says because the majority of additional housing units are apartments and townhomes, the number of added students is far fewer. The city estimates 236 additional students.
“We think we’re funding the school districts. We think it enhances them and we’re proud to do that,” said Geisel.
He says with the TIF and the development of these projects, it will generate additional revenue for the district and raise property values by $1.3 billion over the span of the TIF.
Read the full presentation here:
The TIF will be used to fund infrastructure for the projects, including road improvements and added parking.
Rockwood parent Jessica Risenhoover says she worries about the future of the public schools in the area.
“I actually like the development. I think it looks great, I think its going to be a positive addition to Chesterfield, I just think we can pay for it without taking money from the public schools,” said Risenhoover.
The TIF Commission will meet November 15 to recommend or deny the TIF and then it will go before the Chesterfield City Council who has the ultimate say.
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