Another Study Funded With TIF? Do TIF Addicts Need An Intervention?

by William Skink

The study regime powered by public money just won’t stop, like a train chugging down the tracks. A loud train. With loud whistles.

Hey, I know, let’s spend $26,300 in public TIF money to fund a…RAILROAD QUIET ZONE ANALYSIS and TRAFFIC STUDY!!!!

I am unfortunately not kidding, the critical issue of loud train noises by train tracks is seriously something that public money will now be used to study:

On Thursday, the Missoula Redevelopment Agency’s board authorized the agency to provide up to $26,300 in Tax Increment Financing to fund a Railroad Quiet Zone Analysis and Traffic Study. The area affected would be generally near the lower Rattlesnake.

Tod Gass, a project manager with the MRA, said Missoula Mayor John Engen, City Council President Bryan von Lossberg and many concerned citizens have brought the issue forward recently.

TIF money is supposed to be used to address blight. How does the Missoula Redevelopment Agency justify using TIF funds for studies? Are loud sounds now considered blight?

I would also like to know exactly how many “concerned citizens” are making this an issue. Is there some threshold of concern that must be met, or can a few entitled idiots in the lower Rattlesnake neighborhood trigger the use of public money because they didn’t realize living by train tracks comes with loud train noises?

Train noise is not an issue that warrants the use of public money meant to address blight. The real issue is how public money is being misused.

In a Reptile Dysfunction exclusive, I have obtained a photograph of Mayor Engen handing over the City credit card to a stingy member of the private sector:

Is it time for another intervention?


I think the answer to that question is yes!

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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4 Responses to Another Study Funded With TIF? Do TIF Addicts Need An Intervention?

  1. Djinn&Tonic says:

    The whole city needs a forth step…

  2. Greg Strandberg says:

    This is what Missoulians want. We have a city of 75,000, and yet just a dozen or so people show up on Monday night to decry the use of TIF money. Clearly, most Missoulians simply do not care about this issue.

    We have elections. In those elections, the Democrats always win. While it’s true we had two Republicans win in November, we only have three conservative votes on a city council of twelve. In two years, maybe we’ll have five votes. As you can see, no changes will be coming for years.

    Chances are very good that Engen will run for another term in 2021. If he doesn’t run, it’s pretty clear that Von Lossberg is positioning himself to take over. Again, nothing is going to change, and I’m confident Missoula voters will continue to vote for people that like to give tax money to rich developers.

    Maybe Missoulians would care if they weren’t so busy with work and kids and what free time they might have left over after those two things. But probably not. Housing prices aren’t just out of control because we lack supply; they’re out of control because people have the money to pay those prices. When you have a lot of money like that, why would you care what the city is doing with ‘chump change’ of $20,000 for a study?

    No discernable change is coming to this mountain town until the next market correction, which’ll likely be a collapse due to the terrible state of the repo markets and our un-shored-up pensions.

    Personally, I can’t wait for that collapse – it’s the only way working stiffs will be able to afford houses.

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