An evaluation of Churchill Downs’ tax increment financing district
Tax increment financing districts (TIFs) have become important local government tools in the USA over the last several decades as ways to help bring public and/or private investment dollars into inner city areas and/or older neighbourhoods which are deemed to need revitalisation. Within the last ten years, the concept has become popular in Canada, and it has been used as a component piece of enterprise zone programmes in other nations.
This paper evaluates one of the first Kentucky USA TIFs started approximately 20 years ago with a pre-eminent Kentucky horse racing track, Churchill Downs, as the target for investment spending. Some of the desired spin-off effects of such investment are to help bring jobs, investment and general economic growth to an older and low-income neighbourhood which surrounds the track. This paper finds mixed results regarding these outcomes for the area surrounding Churchill Downs.