Community Improvement Districts | St. Louis Public Radio

Community Improvement Districts

Missouri state auditor Nicole Galloway presents an audit's findings of the city of St. Louis' local taxing districts. 11/21/19
Andrea Smith | St. Louis Public Radio

A state audit gave the city of St. Louis poor performance reviews in regard to its handling of 138 special tax districts. 

State Auditor Nicole Galloway discussed the findings Thursday in St. Louis and said the city needs to change its procedures to ensure responsible spending of tax dollars. 

“When these districts operate unchecked, taxpayers do not have assurance their money is being used efficiently, effectively and for the benefit of the public in the community,” Galloway said. “And that's just what we found: rampant use of local taxing districts throughout the city.”

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway releases audit of state's 400 Community Improvement Districts CIDs
Melody Walker | St. Louis Public Radio

Missouri State Auditor Nicole Galloway was in St. Louis Thursday to present her report on more than 400 Community Improvement Districts around the state.

The first-ever audit of the special tax districts, better known as CIDs, found a general lack of accountability and failure to comply with state laws regarding budget preparation, annual financial and performance reporting, annual meetings and the Sunshine Law.

Before and after its facelift: Milque Toast Bar, 2212 S. Jefferson Ave., received a Community Development Block Grant to improve its facade.
provided | Neighborhood Commercial District Improvement Program

Leonard Johnson admits many run-down storefronts in St. Louis could use a facelift. He’d like to help “polish up” each and every one. But, for now, the director of the Neighborhood Commercial District Improvement Program only has a $1-million Community Development Block Grant to improve small-business facades. So, he plans to “spread the love” to businesses in the most underserved areas of the city.

“We understand that development happens downtown and in the central corridor,” Johnson said. “And it rarely spreads into north St. Louis or north city and even deeper in south city. We want to address that and be intentional about that, because that’s where our program had some shortcomings before.”

Illustration by Rici Hoffarth / St. Louis Public Radio

A St. Louis citizens group wants the city to be more transparent when it comes to tax incentives.

Team TIF is asking the city's Board of Aldermen to pass three proposals and has even drafted the language: