Subsidy

Say no to special tax treatment, again

Say no to special tax treatment, again

In Kansas, a company seeks to avoid paying property taxes, again. In a bill presented in the Kansas Legislature, the owner of health clubs seeks to avoid paying property taxes. The same company and its owner have tried this before. In 2014, I explained how granting this exemption was a bad idea. What has changed since then? This exemption is still a bad idea for reasons of public policy. Additionally, Brandon Steven, the owner of the health clubs, plead guilty to a gambling charge and forfeited one million dollars in earnings. The companies also owe a lot of the tax…
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Swamp refilling itself

Swamp refilling itself

Although there has been progress, cronyism and the swamp may be renewed in Washington. Right under the nose of a president who promised to drain the swamp, one of the government’s shadiest handouts to large banks and big companies looks like it will be renewed for another 25 years. It will not get adequate oversight and congressional review. All it will take is the approval of two out of three U.S. Export-Import Bank directors, who are political appointees. That entity is called the Private Export Funding Corporation, or PEFCO. Veronique de Rugy is a Senior Research Fellow at the Mercatus…
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Economic development incentive to be canceled

Economic development incentive to be canceled

The City of Wichita will consider canceling an economic development incentive for a firm that no longer meets policy requirements. Two years ago the Wichita City Council granted an economic development incentive for a freestanding emergency department in northeast Wichita. The incentive was in the form of property tax relief. The firm would be exempt from paying 88 percent of its property taxes for five years, with the possibility of renewal for another five years. [1. Weeks, Bob. Free standing emergency department about to open in Wichita. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/wichita-government/free-standing-emergency-department-room-open-in-wichita/.] At the time, the city estimated the first-year property tax…
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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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Wichita considers a new stadium

Wichita considers a new stadium

The City of Wichita plans subsidized development of a sports facility as an economic driver. Originally published in July 2017. This week the Wichita City Council will consider a project plan for a redevelopment district near Downtown Wichita. It is largely financed by Tax Increment Financing and STAR bonds. Both divert future incremental tax revenue to pay for various things within the district.[1. Weeks, Bob. STAR bonds in Kansas. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/kansas-government/star-bonds-kansas/.] [1. Weeks, Bob. Wichita TIF projects: some background. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/wichita-government/wichita-tif-projects-background/.] City documents promise this: "The City plans to substantially rehabilitate or replace Lawrence-Dumont Stadium into a multi-sport…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Economic development incentives

WichitaLiberty.TV: Economic development incentives

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: A look at some economic development incentive programs in Wichita and Kansas. Second in a series. Tax increment financing (TIF) is prominent in this episode. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 219, broadcast November 25, 2018. Shownotes Wichita TIF projects: some background. Tax increment financing disrupts the usual flow of tax dollars, routing funds away from cash-strapped cities, counties, and schools back to the TIF-financed development. TIF creates distortions in the way cities develop, and researchers find that the use of TIF means lower economic growth. Industrial revenue bonds in Kansas:…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Economic development incentives

WichitaLiberty.TV: Economic development incentives

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: A look at some economic development incentive programs in Wichita and Kansas. First in a series. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 218, broadcast November 18, 2018. Shownotes 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. From Pachyderm: Economic development incentives Growing the Wichita economy. Wichita leaders are proud of our region’s economic growth. Here are the numbers. Sedgwick County’s David Dennis on economic development. Following the Wichita Mayor, the Chair of…
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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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More TIF spending in Wichita

More TIF spending in Wichita

The Wichita City Council will consider approval of a redevelopment plan in a tax increment financing (TIF) district. This week the Wichita City Council will hold a public hearing considering approval of more tax increment financing (TIF) spending in downtown Wichita. The spending is for the second phase of redevelopment of the Union Station property on East Douglas. According to city documents, the total cost of this phase is $31,000,000, with TIF paying for $2,954,734. [1. Wichita city council agenda packet for September 11, 2018.] This is a pay-as-you-go form of TIF, which means the city does not borrow funds…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Sedgwick County and Wichita issues

WichitaLiberty.TV: Sedgwick County and Wichita issues

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: The end of a Sedgwick County Commission election, the Wichita Eagle editorializes on school spending and more taxes, and Wichita Mayor Jeff Longwell seems misinformed on the Wichita economy. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 207, broadcast August 26, 2018. Shownotes The Wichita Eagle reports there will be a recount: Ranzau and Nicks commission race headed to a recount as Ranzau clings to narrow lead. The Wichita Eagle reports on the result of the recount: (cue sound of crickets) Article: Wichita school spending, according to the Wichita Eagle: A recent editorial…
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