The idea behind Aerotropolis is a good one, international trade and economic development would be great for our region. Part of the problem with this particular deal is the majority of the tax breaks contained in the bill go toward the construction costs (not actually doing business) of new warehouse space around the airport when we have over 18 million sq. ft. of unused space sitting idle right now. Because of the way the bill is designed there is one construction contractor in St. Louis that would qualify as able to build new warehouse space.
There does not seem to be any practical reason for the “100 acre” requirementAnother issue with this project was the statement that Aerotropolis credits would not be given until the facilities were built and being used for international cargo. In fact there is no requirement of international trade only that "two forms of transportation" be used. In addition, there are only 20% and 10% international trade requirements for the majority of the tax credits. Also, there are no protections for the taxpayer that if the international trade never materializes the tax credits won't be awarded. Finally, there have already been $100 million in tax credits used or authorized in that area and $192 million more available.
contained within the Aerotropolis tax credit bill. The requirement seems to serve only to restrict who could draw upon such tax credits, narrowing the field to a small
pool of large-scale developers.
Like Ballpark Village before it, the folks pushing for this legislation are pushing for millions in tax incentives for future growth and jobs that may never happened, based on shaky estimations of how much business and income will actually be generated. Taking the RCGA's word for it is what we, the taxpayer, did back in 2006 and none of that has materialized yet though millions have been given away to developers for a softball field.
There are even more issues with this bill, they have been covered extensively by the Show-Me Institute. For more information on what is wrong with this bill and why it was a supremely bad deal for St. Louis please read "Aerotropolis: A Raw Deal for Missouri"