Community Improvement Districts

Wichita’s demolition policy

Wichita’s demolition policy

Wichita homeowners must pay for demolition of their deteriorating homes, but the owners of a long-festering and highly visible commercial property get to use tax funds for their demolition expense. Tomorrow the Wichita City Council will consider condemnation of two houses in Wichita. In both cases the Board of Building Code Standards and Appeals recommends demolition of the buildings, at the owner's expense. Action like this is common for residential property in Wichita. But we don't often see commercial property demolished by city council action. Tomorrow's proposed -- and likely -- action is in contrast with action taken a few…
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Another week in Wichita, more CID sprawl

Another week in Wichita, more CID sprawl

Shoppers in west Wichita should prepare to pay higher taxes, if the city approves a Community Improvement District at Kellogg and West Streets. Next week the Wichita City Council will consider the formation of a Community Improvement District (CID) surrounding the intersection of Kellogg and West Streets. CIDs are a relatively recent creation of the Kansas Legislature. In a CID, merchants may charge additional sales tax, up to an extra two cents per dollar. For more about their mechanism, see Community improvement districts in Kansas. In the present case, the developer proposes to charge an extra one cent per dollar…
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Wichita CID illustrates pitfalls of government intervention

Wichita CID illustrates pitfalls of government intervention

A proposed special tax district in Wichita holds the potential to harm consumers, the city's reputation, and the business prospects of competitors. Besides, we shouldn't let private parties use a government function for their exclusive benefit. This week the Wichita City Council will consider the formation of a Community Improvement Districts to benefit a proposed hotel in west Wichita. CIDs are a relatively recent creation of the Kansas Legislature. In a CID, merchants may charge additional sales tax, up to an extra two cents per dollar. For more about their mechanism, see Community improvement districts in Kansas. In the present…
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Community improvement districts in Kansas

Community improvement districts in Kansas

In Kansas Community Improvement Districts, merchants charge additional sales tax for the benefit of the property owners, instead of the general public. Community Improvement Districts are a relatively recent creation of the Kansas Legislature. In a CID, merchants charge additional sales tax, up to an extra two cents per dollar. There are two forms of CID. Both start with the drawing of the boundaries of a geographical district. In the original form, a city borrows money by selling bonds. Then, the bond proceeds are given to the owners of the district. The bonds are repaid by the extra sales tax…
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City of Wichita State Legislative Agenda: Economic Development

City of Wichita State Legislative Agenda: Economic Development

The City of Wichita wishes to preserve the many economic development incentives it has at its disposal. The proposed legislative agenda for the City of Wichita holds this regarding economic development incentives: ISSUE: The State of Kansas provides economic development incentives through a variety of programs. RECOMMEND: The Wichita City Council supports the continuation of state economic incentive programs that assist local governments in their efforts to improve their local economies. That’s all the agenda holds. In the presentation for the previous year, the request was more complete, naming specific programs. It’s useful to revisit that list, as Wichita leaders…
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Wichita City Council fails to support informing the taxed

Wichita City Council fails to support informing the taxed

It's enlightening to look back at some examples of discussion at the Wichita City Council so that we remember the attitudes of council members and city bureaucrats towards citizens. In the following example, the council was considering whether Wichitans and visitors should be notified of the amount of extra sales tax -- or even the existence of extra tax -- they will pay when shopping at merchants located within Community Improvement Districts (CIDs). Did the council side with special interests or citizens? At its December 7, 2010 meeting, the Wichita City Council considered whether stores in CIDs should be required…
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Wichita seeks to add more tax to hotel bills

Wichita seeks to add more tax to hotel bills

The city of Wichita wants hotel guests to make a "marketing investment" in Wichita by paying a "City Tourism Fee." This Tuesday the Wichita City Council will hold a public hearing regarding the formation of a Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID). The main characteristic of the proposed TBID is that it will add 2.75 percent tax to most hotel rooms sold in the City of Wichita. The funds would go to Go Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau to be used to enhance that agency's marketing efforts. The tax is estimated to raise $2.5 million per year. What is the motivation…
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Wichita’s legislative agenda favors government, not citizens

Wichita’s legislative agenda favors government, not citizens

This week the Wichita City Council will consider its legislative agenda. This document contains many items that are contrary to economic freedom, capitalism, limited government, and individual liberty. Yet, Wichitans pay taxes to have someone in Topeka promote this agenda. I've excerpted the document here, and following are some of the most problematic items. Agenda: Existing economic development tools are essential for the continued growth and prosperity of our community. First. The premise of this item is incorrect. We don't have growth and prosperity in Wichita. Compared to a broad group of peer metropolitan areas, Wichita performs very poorly. See…
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Wichita’s legislative agenda favors government, not citizens

Wichita’s legislative agenda favors government, not citizens

This week the Wichita City Council will consider its legislative agenda. This document contains many items that are contrary to economic freedom, capitalism, limited government, and individual liberty. Yet, Wichitans pay taxes to have someone in Topeka promote this agenda. I've excerpted the document here, and following are some of the most problematic items. Agenda: Existing economic development tools are essential for the continued growth and prosperity of our community. First. The premise of this item is incorrect. We don't have growth and prosperity in Wichita. Compared to a broad group of peer metropolitan areas, Wichita performs very poorly. See…
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WichitaLiberty.TV August 11, 2013

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV, host Bob Weeks asks if shoppers have ever paid extra sales tax in Wichita's Community Improvement Districts, and describes efforts by the city to avoid disclosure of this tax. Then, are there similarities between Wichita and Detroit? Finally, a Sedgwick County Commissioner is worried about agriculture being driven out of the county, but Bob thinks he doesn't need to worry. Episode 8, broadcast August 11, 2013. View below, or click here to view on YouTube.
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