St. Louis – When you pull out your credit card at the grocery or home improvement store, you probably don't think much about the sales tax you pay.
But in many places, not all the tax money goes to the government. A chunk goes to the developers who built that shopping center or big-box store. It's called tax-increment financing, or TIF.
University of Missouri-St. Louis political scientist Kenneth Thomas just published a study of the controversial development tool and its use in Missouri. He spoke with St. Louis Public Radio's Matt Sepic as part of our series "Bound by Division."
Thomas says TIF pits communities against each other, but results in little overall growth. And he says the St. Louis area is one of the nation's biggest TIF users.
Read the full study here.