STAR bonds

Kansas needs a dynamic economic growth policy

Note: Since Dr. Hall's address to the Wichita Pachyderm Club covered below, the business expensing that he proposed has been signed into law by Governor Brownback. The governor also issued an economic development plan that incorporates large portions of Hall's advice, but legislation expanding some of the present-day "active investor" economic development practices has also been signed into law. The Promoting Employment Across Kansas (PEAK) program, which allows companies to retain their employees' payroll withholding taxes, has been expanded, but not so that it covers all new business firms, as Hall recommended. A dynamic market where many new business startups…
Read More

Kansas economic growth policy should embrace dynamism

A dynamic market where many new business startups attempt to succeed and thrive while letting old, unproductive firms die is what contributes to productivity and economic growth. But most economic development policies, including those of Kansas and Wichita, do not encourage this dynamism, and in fact, work against it. That's the message of Dr. Art Hall, who spoke to the Wichita Pachyderm Club on the topic "Business Dynamics and Economic Development in Kansas." Hall is Director of the Center for Applied Economics at the Kansas University School of Business. At the start of his talk, Hall said that economic development…
Read More

Wichita’s alphabet soup of ‘tax tricks’

Thank you to Marian Chambers of Wichita for submitting this letter. It also appeared in today's Wichita Eagle. I want to commend the courage shown by the October 10 Sunday Wichita Eagle editorial "Get control of incentives." It takes some intestinal fortitude to speak out against the "tax tricks" (wonderful description) that have been foisted on the city and county taxpayers already burdened by federal, state, and property taxes. Wichita is a wonderful place to live. But some of our leaders seem to be threatening our historic legacy by burdening us with an alphabet soup of "tax tricks"; so far,…
Read More

Economic development planning in Wichita on tap

Tuesday's meeting of the Wichita City Council features four public hearings concerning Community Improvement Districts. One CID also will have a public hearing on its application for tax increment financing (TIF). CIDs are a creation of the Kansas Legislature from the 2009 session. They allow merchants in a district to collect additional sales tax of up to two cents per dollar. The extra sales tax is used for the exclusive benefit of the CID. Under tax increment financing (TIF), developers get to use their property taxes to pay for the same infrastructure (or other costs) that everyone else has to…
Read More

Wichita Bowllagio hearing produces only delay

Yesterday's meeting of the Wichita City Council featured a lengthy public hearing for a proposed west-side entertainment development known as Bowllagio. Bowllagio is planned to have a bowling and entertainment center, a boutique hotel, and a restaurant owned by a celebrity television chef. The developers of this project propose to make use of $13 million in STAR bond financing. STAR bonds are issued for the immediate benefit of the developers, with the sales tax collected in the district used to pay off the bonds. The project also proposes to be a Community Improvement District, which allows an additional two cents…
Read More

Wichita economic development to be topic of meeting

This Monday (May 17), economic development tools and incentives in Wichita will be discussed at a meeting sponsored by the Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity. Susan Estes, AFP Field Director and John Todd, AFP Volunteer Coordinator will lead the meeting, whose topic is "Local government economic development incentive tools with particular emphasis on the proposed Bowllagio STAR bonds project." The meeting is from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm on Monday, May 17. The location is the Alford Branch Wichita Public Library (private meeting room), at 3447 S. Meridian. For more information, contact John Todd at [email protected] or 316-312-7335, or…
Read More