Lack of economic development did not lead to Walnut Park's decline. Influx of crime and poverty did. Crime scared away people who cared about their homes. Declining neighborhood upkeep made this spiral worse. Poverty led to decline in home improvements. That made more people move.Regardless of how you feel about TIF, TDD, Community Improvement Districts, Tax Abatement programs, and all the others.
Failure to push forward and to make improvements in the infrastructure and the economic base, will eventually result in decline and failure.
Read the "Walnut Park" topix here.
Look what has happened to Wellston, Kinloch, etc.
Cities, Counties and States compete for Economic Development Projects in an effort to creat jobs, improve tax base, extend retail areas, improve roads and infrastructure, etc.
Either you compete, or you get left behind.
If left behind, even the staunchest of supporters give up and move on, leaving behind a disaster.
Doesn't it make sense to make the improvements and finance the upgrade?
Pay now, or pay latter. There is always a day of reconing.
Perhaps what is needed is homeowner tax incentives along the lines of what was given in the City of St. Louis. Look at the revitalization going on over the past decade in the downtown Loft District, Soulard, Lafayette Square, Garden District, etc., etc. Property values are way up in most city neighborhoods.
If Florissant or St. Louis County gave tax abatements, the way developers get them, people would move back and improve homes.
PEOPLE FIRST, RIGHT, give TIF to the people!