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What will be the impact of TIF for area taxpayers?

To the Editor:
How will the proposed osteopathic medical school Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District No. 5-1 impact taxpayers in the city of Gaylord, Sibley County, the Sibley East School District, and other taxing jurisdictions? As the city of Gaylord prepares to consider and likely approve a $5.7 million TIF plan that will be in place for the next 25 years, all Sibley County taxpayers will be impacted, because TIFs touch every taxing jurisdiction within the proposed TIF district. Medical school developer Phil Keithahn, local representative for the Danza Group of Minnesota, would have you believe that the impact of the proposed development will be good for our communities; I for one do not believe that for one minute.
To add insult to injury, no one at the city of Gaylord has ever been able or willing to answer these very simple questions: What has been the positive economic impact of the many TIF plans approved over the last few decades by the city of Gaylord? What have been the measurable outcomes of these corporate subsidies? How many good-paying jobs have been created? How many of these jobs have been filled by local residents? Have these corporate subsidies decreased the tax levy of any of the taxing districts as a result of increased property values that result from these TIFs? The city of Gaylord will not answer these questions because it can’t! But know this: this project will impact level of services provided to residents in each of these taxing districts and they will either be required to cut costs or raise taxes!
The taxpayer profile of Sibley County being asked to bear the burden of this private development is comprised of approximately 75 percent who are farmers in a struggling ag economy; 16 percent of seniors who live on fixed incomes; 10 percent who live in poverty; and those whose average median income is $55,000 per household. I must ask the question, will the public good be served by taxpayer dollars being used for this private development? I believe the answer to that question is no, but I have no doubt that the private gain of a handful of people will be achieved at the expense of poor, working taxpayers who are struggling to make ends meet – this in effect is crony capitalism, aka the poor stay poor and rich get richer!
Diana Karau
Gaylord