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  • Nathan Duvall

Allegory of the Secret TIF Carousel

Updated: Dec 18, 2021

Urban Myth, TIF Humor, Moral Allegory, or Conspiracy Theory that makes too much sense? You choose. We keep hearing versions of this weird story. So, we're sharing it here, as told by Justin Mitchell to Nathan Duvall.

Ever wonder about that funny round building atop the Town Pavilion?

Inside, there is a Secret TIF Carousel.

History: Desperate for downtown redevelopment, Mayor Kay Barnes made a pact with Mephisto, represented on Earth by the Cordish Companies. Mayor Barnes decreed that a secret carousel be built atop the then-new Town Pavilion. In order to addict developers and lawyers to TIF tax subsidies, 22 people who took the most from the poor and then gave it to the rich, and were most obedient to Mephisto, received the extra privilege of riding on the secret carousel.

What Happens: To this day, 22 Riders: well-connected developers, lawyers and city officials, have membership to ride the secret carousel. They go round and round on the pretty ponies as Mephisto's reward for taking from the poor and giving to the rich. The 22 Riders are called to the carousel every Friday the 13th, every full moon, and every Halloween, for eternity. We have obtained a partial list of Riders which will be made available soon.

The EDC was located in the Town Pavilion for years. Coincidence? That was done to make it

easy for the 22 Riders, once they took from the poor and gave to the rich. But inevitably, word started to get out. To protect the secret, the Economic Development Corporation had to move.

What about Mayor Q? Why has Quinton Lucas reneged on so many campaign promises? He made his own pact with Mephisto to win the election. Once he kissed the Ring of the Powerful Developers, he and his wife took away the ponies that belonged to Sly and Troy.

What about Sly? The animosity between Sly James, Troy Shulte and Quinton Lucas is well known. Here is the reason. After his pact with Mephisto to win the election, Quinton Lucas was able to oust Troy and Sly from being among the 22 carousel riders: it was a major disappointment! They have not been on speaking terms since.

Why 22 Riders? There are supposedly 22 ponies on the carousel, so we think one Rider for each pony. The exact reason is a mystery. It may be related to TIFs being as worthless as a $22 dollar bill.

Moral of the Story. TIFs: a bargain with the devil. Do not give in to Mephisto's earthly temptations to take from the poor and give to the rich. Or else you will spend every Friday the 13th for all eternity, riding the Secret Carousel...

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