Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition

In election coverage, The Wichita Eagle has fallen short

In election coverage, The Wichita Eagle has fallen short

Citizens want to trust their hometown newspaper as a reliable source of information. The Wichita Eagle has not only fallen short of this goal, it seems to have abandoned it. The Wichita Eagle last week published a fact-check article titled "Fact check: 'No' campaign ad on sales tax misleading." As of today, the day before the election, I've not seen any similar article examining ads from the "Yes Wichita" group that campaigns for the sales tax. Also, there has been little or no material that examined the city's claims and informational material in a critical manner. Someone told me that…
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Wichita city hall doesn’t need a sales tax to burn off the fog

Wichita city hall doesn’t need a sales tax to burn off the fog

As Wichita voters consider promises of transparency and reporting regarding job creation, the city fails to make even the most basic information available. In November, Wichita voters will consider whether to authorize a sales tax of one cent per dollar. Part of that would be used for economic development with the aid of creating jobs. The city promises a transparency in decision making and reporting of results regarding this jobs fund. Material produced by the city on July 22 contains: "Decisions about who receives funding, the number of jobs, and the impact on community would be made in public meetings…
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Voter support of taxpayer-funded economic development incentives

Voter support of taxpayer-funded economic development incentives

In a poll, about one-third of Wichita voters support local governments using taxpayer money to provide subsidies to certain businesses for economic development. In April Kansas Policy Institute commissioned SurveyUSA to conduct a scientific poll concerning current topics in Wichita. The press release from KPI, along with a link to the complete survey results, is available at Poll: Wichitans don’t want sales tax increase. The second question the survey asked was "In general, do you agree? Or disagree? With the idea of local governments using taxpayer money to provide subsidies to certain businesses for economic development?" Following are the results…
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For Wichita, another economic development plan

For Wichita, another economic development plan

The Wichita City Council will consider a proposal from a consultant to "facilitate a community conversation for the creation of a new economic development diversification plan for the greater Wichita region." Haven't we been down this road before? This week the Wichita City Council will consider funding "the formulation of a new economic development strategy." Here's a summary provided by the city: Wichita State University approached STARNet about developing a proposal to assist WSU, the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce and the community with the formulation of a new economic development strategy. Over a period of almost ten months STARNet…
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Wichita debt levels seen to rise

Wichita debt levels seen to rise

As part of the campaign for a proposed Wichita sales tax, the city says that debt is bad. But actions the city has taken have caused debt levels to rise, and projections are for further increases. According to the most recent edition of Wichita's Performance Measure Report, the city's debt levels are projected to rise, based on three measures. One measure, named "Outstanding Net General Obligation Debt as a Percentage of Assessed Value," is projected to rise. From 2007 through 2011, the average value for this measure was 1.50 percent. Since then its actual value has risen, and the city…
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