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August 2017 Luncheon

"Evaluating Incentives Using and ROI Approach"

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

11:30 AM Registration and Networking

12:00 PM Presentation


Description: As budgets get tighter, incentives are facing closer scrutiny. Explore how communities are addressing this through an ROI approach to viewing land within a municipality. The City of St. Louis' innovative approach is the case study on estimating the needed tax return on developments that utilize various incentives tools.

First is a discussion of the challenges and opportunities facing municipalities in today's post-Great Recession environment. Using available data, panelists determine the estimated amount of property, sales, earning and payroll tax generated per square foot of land in the City. The City of St. Louis model aims to differentiate the tax value per square foot of land based on its geographic location within the City (neighborhood/ZIP Code) its land use designated according to the Strategic Land Use Plan (SLUP), and its classification for tax assessment purposes (commercial, residential, or exempt).

The model also includes an effort to estimate the currently unfunded infrastructure liabilities of the City. Combining the estimated taxes generated per square foot, with this estimate of unfunded liabilities, the model then goes on to estimate how much city revenue needs to be generated per square foot in order to fund all of its unfunded infrastructure liabilities. An intermediate session for experienced planners.

Speaker Bio: Jonathan Ferry, St. Louis Development Corporation


Jonathan has 11 years experience in the field of economic development, and is currently serving as Financial Analyst and Major Projects Managers for the City of St. Louis, through their economic development agency, the St. Louis Development Corporation (SLDC). In his time with SLDC, Jon has developed an intricate, yet reproducible, system for analyzing projects that request incentives, which works to ensure that incentives are used responsibly, and only in ways that will ultimately grow the local economy, and not just shuffle business from one place in the city to another. This system is designed based on the premise that, in order to be financially sustainable, cities must think in terms of the amount of tax revenue that is generated per acre of land in the city. Using publicly available data, he created an algorithm that estimates the amount of tax revenue that needs to be generated by any given parcel of land in the City, the amount of which varies based upon the geographic location within the City (by neighborhood) and the land use of the property in question. This has allowed the City to evaluate proposed projects to ensure that their economic productivity is sufficient to merit incentives, and also to ensure that the amount of the incentive is not excessive. Outside of work, Jon enjoys living in the City with his wife and two daughters. He holds a Master's degree in Economics & Finance from Southern Illinois University, and he seldom passes up an opportunity to settle down with a good book.


Brentwood Recreation Community Center
2505 South Brentwood Boulevard
Brentwood, MO 63144



Members:  $15
Non-Members:  $18
Students:  $10
Board Members: $10

Menu options from Gourmet to Go as follows:

Sandwich (pick one):

  • House Roasted Turkey & Provel on Multi-Grain Bun
  • Marinated Grilled Chicken & Jack Cheese on Multi-Grain Bun
  • House Roasted Beef & Cheddar on Plain Kaiser Roll
  • Smoked Ham & Swiss on Plain Kaiser Roll
  • The Veg on Multi-Grain Bun (cucumbers, red bell peppers, mushrooms and Jack cheese)

Side (pick one):

  • Italian Pasta
  • Potato Salad
  • Kettle Chips
  • Grapes

Dessert (pick one):

  • Lemon Square
  • Ultimate Chocolate Square
  • Grapes

A beverage will be provided.

Registration Deadline:
No later than Monday, August 14, 2017 at Noon.



Date: 11:30 am to 1:00 pm
Cut off date Aug 13, 2017
Location Brentwood Recreation Community Center
We are no longer accepting registration for this event
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