Industrial Revenue Bonds

Wichita presents industrial revenue bonds

Wichita presents industrial revenue bonds

A presentation by the City of Wichita regarding IRBs is good as far as it goes, which is not far enough. Recently the City of Wichita prepared a short video explaining the city's industrial revenue bonds (IRB) program. The video may be viewed on YouTube by clicking here. Several times the presenters emphasized that in the IRB program, the city does not lend money. They properly identify the true purpose of the program, which is to subsidize companies by allowing them to avoid paying property taxes and possibly sales taxes. Several times the presenters emphasized that the IRB program has…
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Freestanding emergency room in Wichita closes

Freestanding emergency room in Wichita closes

The conversion of a medical facility should receive city scrutiny due to tax breaks granted based on its original use. The Wichita Eagle reports that a freestanding emergency room in northeast Wichita has closed after two years. It will be converted to a cardiology office under the same ownership. As I reported in Free standing emergency department about to open in Wichita, the facility received property tax abatements worth an estimated $61,882 per year in the first year. The abatement was scheduled to last for five years, with a likely extension for an additional five years. These abatements were obtained…
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Sedgwick County tax exemptions

Sedgwick County tax exemptions

Unlike the City of Wichita, Sedgwick County has kept track of its tax exemptions. As part of an effort to increase efficiency and management of Sedgwick County government, former county manager Michael Scholes implemented numerous changes, as detailed in the document Efficiencies in Sedgwick County government. One management accomplishment was described as this: Developed a tax system and business intelligence query to identify Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB) & Economic Development (EDX) tax exemptions and report foregone property tax revenues for Governmental Accounting Standards Board (GASB) 77 reporting. The report provides the ability to report by tax authority, company, and real…
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It’s not the bonds, it’s the taxes

It’s not the bonds, it’s the taxes

A Wichita Eagle headline reads "Wichita aircraft supplier plans 45 new jobs with $7.5 million bond request," but important information is buried and incomplete. According to the agenda packet for the December 4, 2018 meeting of the Wichita City Council, a local aircraft supplier is "requesting issuance of bonds" worth $7.5 million. [1. City of Wichita, agenda for December 4, 2018. V-2: Public Hearing and Issuance of Industrial Revenue Bonds, Etezazi Industries, Inc. Available at http://www.wichita.gov/Council/Agendas/12-04-2018%20Agenda.pdf.] Even if you read the entire Wichita Eagle article[3. Siebenmark, Jerry. Wichita aircraft supplier plans 45 new jobs with $7.5 million bond request. Wichita…
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From Pachyderm: Economic development incentives

From Pachyderm: Economic development incentives

A look at some of the large economic development programs in Wichita and Kansas. Here's video of a presentation I gave at the Wichita Pachyderm Club this week on economic development incentives. The video was produced by Paul Soutar of Graphic Lens. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Following, articles that address some of the topics I presented: Industrial revenue bonds in Kansas: Industrial Revenue Bonds are a mechanism that Kansas cities and counties use to allow companies to avoid paying property and sales taxes. Wichita TIF projects: some background: Tax increment financing disrupts the usual flow…
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Wichita business press needs to step up

Wichita business press needs to step up

If a newspaper is going to write a news story, it might as well take a moment to copy and paste information from a city council agenda packet. Especially when what is missing from the story is perhaps the most important information. When the Wichita City Council approved an Industrial Revenue Bond issue at its July 10, 2018 meeting, the city's business press covered the matter. In the Wichita Eagle, the story fails to mention the motivation for the item. [1. Finger, Stan. Wichita City Council approves bonds for Cargill expansion. Available at https://www.kansas.com/news/business/article214622565.html.] The meeting agenda packet for this…
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How much will this cost Wichita taxpayers?

How much will this cost Wichita taxpayers?

How much, if anything, do tax abatements cost? Someone asked a question regarding an item on the Wichita City Council agenda today: How much will this cost taxpayers? The item in question is agenda item IV-1: Public Hearing and Request for a Letter of Intent to Issue Industrial Revenue Bonds (WAM Investments #6, LLC). [1. Wichita City Council agenda packet for May 1, 2108.] Attached was an article from the Wichita Business Journal previewing the matter. [1. Daniel McCoy. Wichita City Council to consider $6 million in IRBs for industrial spec building. Wichita Business Journal, April 30, 2018. Available at…
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Free standing emergency department about to open in Wichita

Free standing emergency department about to open in Wichita

A project in Wichita received substantial subsidy from taxpayers. How have public policy issues been reported? Free standing emergency rooms are a recent trend in medical care. This is a facility that has equipment, personnel, and capability like a traditional hospital emergency room, but is not connected to a hospital. The first in Wichita is nearly ready to open, on Twenty-first Street east of Webb Road. Regarding the Wichita facility, the Wichita Business Journal quoted Malik Idbeis, chief information officer for Kansas Medical Center: "We see a lot of patients from the northeast side of Wichita. We thought it’d be…
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Sedgwick County’s David Dennis on economic development

Sedgwick County’s David Dennis on economic development

Following the Wichita Mayor, the Chair of the Sedgwick County Commission speaks on economic development. Last week Sedgwick County Commissioner David Dennis penned a column for the Wichita Eagle praising the county's efforts in economic development. [1. David Dennis. Sedgwick County part of drive to strengthen area workforce. Wichita Eagle, March 5, 2018. Available at http://www.kansas.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/article203559734.html.] Dennis is also chair of the commission this year. In his column, the commissioner wrote: "Economic development is a key topic for the Board of County Commissioners and for me in particular. Right now we have a lot of momentum to make our community…
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Naftzger Park project details

Naftzger Park project details

The city has finalized a proposal for a development near Naftzger Park. It includes a few new and creative provisions. This week the City of Wichita will consider a development agreement for land and buildings near Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. [1. City of Wichita Agenda Packet for December 19, 2017, Item IV-6. Available at http://wichitaks.granicus.com/AgendaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=3699.] Community Improvement District The plan includes the formation of a Community Improvement District. In CIDs, merchants charge additional sales tax for the benefit of the property owners, instead of the general public.[1. Weeks, Bob. Community improvement districts in Kansas. Available at https://bobw7.sg-host.com/kansas-government/community-improvement-districts-kansas/.] In this…
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