St. Louis City Hall

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Auditor to Look at St. Louis' Use of Economic Incentives

Galloway has heard concerns from residents about the "transparency and accountability'' of incentive programs used by the city.

May 22, 2018 - 6:02 pm

ST. LOUIS (AP/KMOX) - Missouri Auditor Nicole Galloway will review how the city of St. Louis uses economic incentives such as tax abatement and tax increment financing. 

The Democratic auditor in January agreed to request from the St. Louis Board of Aldermen for a comprehensive audit of city government. She said Tuesday that her review will examine how incentives are administered by city offices. 

Galloway says in a news release that while incentives can be valuable economic development tools, she has heard concerns from residents about the "transparency and accountability'' of incentive programs used by the city. 

It isn't clear how long the audit will take. 

In related news, the relationship between the city of St. Louis and developer Paul McKee is under review, amid calls for a federal investigation into McKee's dealings with the city.  

Deputy Mayor of Development Linda Martinez says they're reconsidering the partnership with McKee to redevelop large parts of north St. Louis. The relationship chilled when it came to light in a recent court case that McKee got $2.5 million in tax credits for a building he didn't buy.  

McKee has received millions of dollars in tax increment financing for the largely unrealized northside redevelopment dream. He holds hundreds of properties, many of them vacant buildings or empty lots.  

McKee was not available for comment.