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Regional employment and housing impacts of tax increment financing districts



This paper estimates the impacts of tax increment financing (TIF) districts on employment and residential development in Polk County, Iowa, using quasi-experimental methods. A spatially lagged-adjustment model is adapted for use at the parcel level. Results indicate that TIF districts contributed gross declines in private sector, non-governmental employment. Job losses attributable to TIF totalled 110 jobs per square mile, and the negative employment effects were sustained over the long term between 2001 and 2011. In contrast, there is some evidence that TIF districts have contributed positively to residential development, although the increase in housing near the districts was not found to be statistically significant in the quasi-experimental integrated lagged adjustment model.

KEYWORDS: tax increment financing, economic development, quasi-experimental research design
JEL: R11, R38, R51


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