The Abe Effect


As Clinton was to cows, Lincoln is to the Korean War? The Clinton Library is often credited with bringing Heifer International to Little Rock as neighbor. Now Korean War vets hope to catch museum mania across the street from Springfield Illinois’s Lincoln Library.

Perfect. Springfield will gain a new tax expenditure black hole in addition to Honest Abe’s local, state and federal subsidies. The prospective museum’s planners are already angling for Congressional earmarks, and Springfield is sprinkling tax increment financing [TIF]on a downtown lot with buried gas tanks.

The beauty part of TIF is it allows a body like the City of Springfield to beggar all the other taxing districts which draw from local property taxes. TIF takes the taxes on increased property values in an area, attributes them to X project, and usually dumps the cash back on X as a subsidy. The City forgoes any benefit from the development and hopes that someday somehow they make it back in sales taxes on tourists, or something.

In this case the other local taxing bodies include the Lincoln Land Community College District, Springfield Community Unit School District, Capital Township, Sangamon County, Springfield Park District, Springfield Metropolitan Sanitary District, Springfield Airport Authority, Springfield Metropolitan Exposition and Auditorium Authority, and the Springfield Mass Transportation District.

Enjoy your museum folks!

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