JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Representative Brandon Ellington wants to change the state constitution to empower voters to have a check on proposed redevelopment plans using tax increment financing dollars. HJR 95 would prohibit counties and other political subdivisions from authorizing redevelopment plans unless the plans are first approved by a majority of voters in the county or subdivision.

Tax increment financing is meant to encourage private investment in deteriorating areas by allowing local governments to use future property tax revenues to finance infrastructure projects that can attract new development. However, Ellington noted that many TIF projects in reality subsidize big businesses at the expense of ordinary citizens.

“I drafted HJR95 because I believe that government should not give big corporations tax dollars that could be better spent on those who struggle to get by,” said Ellington, D-Kansas City. “I think it’s only right that voters have the final say in determining how these dollars are spent, and I believe they will agree with me that we are far better investing in people than we are big businesses.”