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Smith Criticizes Tax Abatements

Mayoral candidate Irene J. Smith.

By Kevin Lavery, KWMU

St. Louis, MO. – St. Louis mayoral candidate Irene J. Smith says she'd take a different focus on economic development if elected mayor.

Speaking Monday on KWMU's "St. Louis On the Air," Smith criticized the present administration's generous use of tax abatements, which restrict the city's ability to collect future property taxes.

"And the purpose of tax abatement was to be an inducement, not a giveaway," Smith said. "And of course, the more we have these tax abatements, particularly when the development is going to go on anyway, we're taking money out of our public school system which is less money to do the job that we need to do to educate our children."

Smith is the city's 1st ward alderwoman who's running for the Democratic nomination against incumbent Francis Slay and school board member Bill Haas.


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