Economic development

Destination ICT rollout presents a look at the future of Wichita

Destination ICT presentation. Yesterday Rebecca Ryan of Next Generation Consulting presented "Destination ICT." This is a program designed to "attract and retain talent to Wichita." It's sponsored by Young Professionals of Wichita which is an initiative of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce. In her talk, Ryan presented evidence that knowledge workers are highly concentrated, and that a relatively small proportion of workers create much of the economic output. "Some workers have a higher economic impact on an economy than other workers." She said that Wichita must continue to invest in knowledge-based jobs and knowledge-based occupations. She said that Wichita…
Read More

David Burk, Wichita developer, overreaches

Today's Wichita Eagle contains a story about a well-known Wichita real estate developer that, while shocking, shouldn't really be all that unexpected. The opening sentence of the article (Developer won tax appeal on city site) tells us most of what we need to know: "Downtown Wichita's leading developer, David Burk, represented himself as an agent of the city -- without the city's knowledge or consent -- to cut his taxes on publicly owned property he leases in the Old Town Cinema Plaza, according to court records and the city attorney." Some might say it's not surprising that Burk represented himself…
Read More

Wichita city council signals possible change in economic development incentive policy

At today's meeting of the Wichita City Council, discussion by council members and their vote may signal a change in the city's stance toward economic development incentives. At issue was a request for extension of economic development incentives for a Wichita company. Five years ago the city council approved an economic development package for the company that included a tax abatement. As is the city's policy, the council revisits the issue in five years to see if the company has meet its goal commitments. In the case of this company, one commitment -- the building of a new facility --…
Read More

Urban planning discussed on Kansas Week

Economist, author, and Cato Institute Senior Fellow Randal O'Toole discusses urban planning and redevelopment on the KPTS Television public affairs program Kansas Week. Tim Brown is the host. Coverage of O'Toole's visit to Wichita is at Randal O’Toole discusses urban planning in Wichita.
Read More

Goal of Kansas tax reform is economic growth

Dr. Art Hall, who is Director of the Center for Applied Economics at the University of Kansas has proposed a radical change and simplification to the Kansas tax system. Besides simplification of the way the state collects taxes, the major goal of the proposal is to encourage economic growth in Kansas. The goal of tax policy should be to raise the funds necessary to run government, and to do so in a way that provides the most incentive for economic growth. The accumulation of capital, which comes from savings, is the best way to promote future economic growth. Capital allows…
Read More

Wichita’s pursuit of convention business: a wise strategy?

One of the reasons Wichita city leaders say we need to provide subsidy to a proposed hotel in the downtown WaterWalk development is that the rooms are needed to support the city's effort to gain convention business. On its face, this pursuit of convention business seems like a noble effort by city leaders. Vast streams of economic development will follow if they are successful, they say. Providing subsidy to a hotel in support of this effort, they say, should be a simple decision. Especially when supporters like Wichita city council member Jeff Longwell tell us that much of the subsidy…
Read More

Stretching figures strains credibility

I recently read that the Wichita Airport's economic impact was estimated at $1.6 billion per year. I thought this seemed high, so I investigated further. I became aware of this study prepared by the Center for Economic Development and Business Research at Wichita State University, available here: Wichita Mid-Continent Airport Economic Impact. By reading this study I learned that the employees of Cessna and Bombardier -- 12,134 in total -- are counted in determining the economic impact of the airport. Why? To quote the study: "While it might appear that manufacturing businesses could be based anywhere in the area, both…
Read More