Sedgwick county government

From John Todd: Testimony regarding Senate Bill No. 58

February 3, 2005 Members Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee State Capitol Topeka, Kansas 66612 Subject: Testimony in OPPOSITION TO SENATE BILL #58 (Sales Tax Increase For The Proposed Wichita/Sedgwick County Arena). My name is John Todd. I am a self-employed real estate broker from Wichita, and I come before you in opposition to the enabling legislation that would allow Sedgwick County to raise the local sales tax 1% to fund a new Downtown Arena. The reason why I am here in opposition to this government driven plan is my basic belief that individuals know best how to spend their own…
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Written testimony regarding Senate Bill No. 58 (Wichita downtown arena tax)

Written testimony of Bob Weeks regarding Senate Bill No. 58, an act concerning sales taxation; relating to countywide retailers' sales tax in Sedgwick County. February 3, 2005 Members Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee State Capitol Topeka, Kansas 66612 Honorable Senators: Thank you for allowing me to present this written testimony. I realize that the voters in Sedgwick County voted for the arena sales tax increase. I believe, however, there is ample reason why you should vote against the tax. The idea of the taxpayer-funded arena came about so fast in the summer of 2004 that there was little thought given…
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Letter to Kansas Legislators regarding Sedgwick County arena tax

January 25, 2005 Dear Senator or Representative: I am writing to express my opposition to the legislature granting Sedgwick County the authority to raise its county-wide sales tax in order to fund the proposed downtown Wichita arena. I realize that the voters in Sedgwick County voted for the tax. Still, I believe there is ample reason why you should vote against the tax. The primary reason is that the idea of the arena came about so fast in the summer that there was little thought given to the underlying issues. The Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita…
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Guest post: The Sedgwick County Downtown Arena Sales Tax

(It has been suggested that the following message, which I have sent as email to all Kansas State Senators and Representatives, may be of interest to you. The article, as written and sent, does contain some minor inaccuracies, both in fact and in interpretation; but this merely shows that those of us who relied on the Wichita Eagle, my primary news source, for information prior to the arena tax vote were denied needed information and were, probably deliberately, given false, incomplete, and/or misleading information. I have made no effort to update it since a week or two after the election.…
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Prepare for sales tax-induced job effects now

Collecting the sales tax to pay for the downtown Wichita arena may produce unintended consequences. A paper titled "An Assessment of the Economic Impact of a Multipurpose Arena" by Ronald John Hy and R. Lawson Veasey, both of the University of Central Arkansas, (Public Administration & Management: An Interactive Journal 5, 2, 2000, pp. 86-98) looked at the effect of jobs and economic activity during the construction of the Alltel Arena in Pulaski County, Arkansas. This arena cost $50 million. It was funded in part by a one percent increase in the county sales tax for one year (1998). The…
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Downtown Wichita arena as a public good

The streets and highways, and certainly the public parks, are examples of public goods. Public goods are characterized by two things: nonexcludability, meaning that non-payers can't be excluded from enjoying and using the good, and nonrivalrous consumption, meaning that consumption of the good by one person doesn't reduce the availability of the good to others. Neither applies to an arena. Roads and highways, to a large extent, are paid for by those who use them. As far as I know, I paid for the entire cost of street in front of my house through special tax assessments. It is reasonable…
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Arenas’ Financial Statements Not Complete

The WSU Center for Economic Development and Business Research study (reported by Fred Mann in the September 5 Wichita Eagle), showing a small loss for the proposed downtown arena, does not account for the cost of building the arena. Neither do the Qwest Center in Omaha nor the Alltel Arena in Arkansas when they report their profits. How do I know? I wrote to each of these facilities and asked. None include any expense for depreciation, debt service, lease payments, or anything that recognizes the tremendous amount of capital consumed by building these arenas. Yet, these facilities report a profit,…
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WSU Study on Downtown Wichita Arena Not Complete

Government Accounting Standards Board Statement 34 requires governments to account for the cost of their assets, usually by stating depreciation expense each year. Through a series of email exchanges with Mr. Ed Wolverton, President of the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, I have learned that the WSU Center for Economic Development and Business Research was not aware of this requirement when they prepared their forecast. Mr. Wolverton admitted this after checking with the study authors. Mr. Chris Chronis, Chief Financial Officer of Sedgwick County, in an email conversation told me that the county will take depreciation expense for the downtown arena,…
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The leadership of our local government officials regarding the downtown Wichita arena

It is clear that our local government leaders want a downtown arena in Wichita. Just read their remarks in the Wichita Eaglenewspaper. Since the Sedgwick County Commission has promised that they will proceed with renovation of the Kansas Coliseum if the downtown arena vote fails, it is in their interest to make the Coliseum renovation option look as bad as possible. In my opinion, they've done a pretty good job of this. If you do the math on what it costs to borrow $55 million, paying it back at $6.1 million a year for 20 years, the interest rate is…
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Economic justification of arenas and the downtown Wichita arena

It seems that the best argument that arena supporters have for asking the entire community to pay for the Downtown Wichita arena is that it will somehow pay for itself through spillover economic benefit. That is, through increased economic development around a downtown arena, the citizens of Sedgwick County will somehow be repaid for their investment in the arena through the taxes they paid. Current economic research indicates otherwise, as follows. A review of the book "Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums" by Roger G. Noll and Andrew Zimbalist, available at this url at…
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