TIF/TIDD About Control, not Development

For the average politically-unconnected Albuquerque-area developer, dealing with local governments is a nightmare of red tape. Anti-development politicians and anti-“sprawl” and/or “not in my backyard” citizens have passed numerous laws that make it a wonder anything is built. Out-of-control impact fees, high taxes, opaque zoning laws, capricious government officials (see Wal Mart’s experience in Vista del Norte), and onerous “green” building codes all make the process difficult and time-consuming.
On one hand we now have policies that stifle new development and contribute to the decline of existing areas? But, on the other hand we have Tax Increment Financing (TIF) laws here known as TIDD which are targeted at massive new developments that seem designed to help Albuquerque area to grow as rapidly as possible. In these seemingly-conflicting issues seems to be control. Massive new developments are okay, but only if they are acceptable to politicians. New legislation introduced by supposed foe of TIDD, Michael Cadigan, is a perfect example. It’s okay…if you do things my way.
Unfortunately, TIF or TIDD is all about political control as development expert Randal O’Toole points out in this podcast. Opponents of TIDD should remain principled in their opposition and work to make Albuquerque an easier place to build rather than extending political control even further. Unfortunately, that is not the tendency of politicians.

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