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TIFs are eating into St. Charles County budget, leaders say

By Tom Weber, KWMU

St. Louis, Mo. – Leaders in St. Charles County say so-called TIF districts are threatening to cause a budget crisis in county government.

The County Council last week received a $215 million budget for next year, a million dollars less than this year's.

Chuck Gross, says the county would have had more money if it didn't have to send nearly $2 million to local towns and governments for their TIF districts. TIFs allocate tax monies to a certain area for redevelopment.

Gross says the county is still fiscally healthy, but he's trying to sound an alarm. "At some point in time if it were to grow large enough, then probably a decrease in services is what would have to occur," Gross said, in an interview. "That's not where we're at right now but we're pointing out in here that this is a very serious situation."

The budget includes a three percent pay raise for all 1,000 workers in St. Charles County government. The County Council still has to approve the spending plan.

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