Research

The Myth of Self-Financing

July 9, 2015
The Myth of Self-Financing Koji Yamada

The framing of the redevelopment of Manhattan's Hudson Yards as a self-financed project hides the public trade-offs.

Given the nation-wide debate on tax increment financing (TIF) in social science literature and public policy, this paper analyzes New York City's experience with the country's largest TIF project as a case study of the promises and fallacies behind value capture financing. Positioning TIF as a tool absent public trade-offs erodes the public process necessary to properly consider its demands, risks, costs, and governance questions. In this case, the consequences included over $1 billion in direct public expenditures, neighborhood commodification, enclave building and loss of fiscal oversight and accountability.

Author: Bridget Fisher
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