Subsidy

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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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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In Wichita, spending semi-secret

In Wichita, spending semi-secret

The Wichita City Council authorized the spending of a lot of money without discussion. At its March 27, 2018 meeting, the Wichita City Council passed a resolution authorizing the spending of funds for the River Vista development on the west bank of the Arkansas River in downtown. The agenda packet for the meeting gave the details: "The overall project budget is $7,862,999 with STAR Bonds financing $4,750,000 of the costs and the City financing $1,050,000. The balance of the project costs will be assessed against the Improvement District." (STAR bonds are a mechanism whereby future sales tax revenue is routed…
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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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In Wichita, three Community Improvement Districts to be considered

In Wichita, three Community Improvement Districts to be considered

In Community Improvement Districts (CID), merchants charge additional sales tax for the benefit of the property owners, instead of the general public. Wichita may have an additional three, contributing to the problem of CID sprawl. This week the Wichita City Council will hold public hearings considering the formation of three Community Improvement Districts. In Kansas Community Improvement Districts, 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/.] Each of these CIDs will charge customers additional sales tax, with a cap on…
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Delano catalyst site

Delano catalyst site

A development near downtown Wichita may receive subsidy through four different avenues. This week the Wichita City Council will consider approval of a development agreement with EPC Real Estate, LLC, for the Delano catalyst site. This is vacant land north of Douglas, between the Advanced Learning Library and the River Vista project. Update: The measure passed four votes to three, with Bluebaugh, Frye, and Longwell in the minority. Wichita Eagle reporting mentions some of the public subsidy the development will receive: $12 million over a period of years, in the form of Tax Increment Financing and Community Improvement District sales…
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Spirit Aerosystems incentives reported

Spirit Aerosystems incentives reported

Opinions vary on economic development incentives, but we ought to expect to be told the truth of the details. The Wichita Business Journal has reported on the economic development incentives used to cement the Spirit AeroSystems expansion announced last week. Following are some quotes from its article How Wichita won the battle for Spirit AeroSystems’ expansion. Background on the aspects of the deal can be found at Spirit expands in Wichita. Wichita Business Journal: "And many aren’t shy about bringing cash to the table as an incentive. In Wichita, in the wake of the defeat at the polls in 2014…
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Briefs

Briefs

He didn't participate Wichita Eagle Opinion Line, November 24, 2017: "The kindest word that can be ascribed to State Senator Susan Wagle, when she criticizes the Kansas Supreme Court? Disingenuous. She never mentions Brownback appointee, Justice Caleb Stegall; he has repeatedly agreed with his colleagues on school finance." The likely reason Senator Wagle doesn't mention Justice Stegall when criticizing the Court on school finance matters is that he, along with another judge, hasn't participated. The recent opinions are signed "BEIER and STEGALL, JJ., not participating. MICHAEL J. MALONE and DAVID L. STUTZMAN, Senior Judges, assigned." Why? "Justices Carol Beier and…
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PEAK, or Promoting Employment Across Kansas

PEAK, or Promoting Employment Across Kansas

PEAK, a Kansas economic development incentive program, redirects employee income taxes back to the employing company. An economic development incentive program in Kansas is PEAK, or Promoting Employment Across Kansas. This program allows companies to retain 95 percent of the payroll withholding tax of employees. PEAK incentive payments can be a substantial sum. Tables available at the Kansas Department of Revenue indicate that for a single person with no exemptions who earns $40,000 annually, the withholding would be $27 per week (for weekly payroll), or $1,404 annually. For a married person with two children earning the same salary, withholding would…
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Sales tax incentives yes, but no relief on grocery sales tax

Sales tax incentives yes, but no relief on grocery sales tax

Is it equitable for business firms to pay no sales tax, while low-income families pay sales tax on groceries? Last week I wondered if the city's agenda packet for economic development incentives proposed for BG Products was complete. [1. Weeks, Bob. Wichita Business Journal grants city council excess power. Available at https://bobw7.sg-host.com/wichita-government/wichita-business-journal-grants-city-council-excess-power/.] Since the city's narrative had no mention of a sales tax exemption, but the accompanying ordinance that was passed authorized a sales tax exemption, I wondered if the analysis performed by the Wichita State University Center for Economic Development and Business Research was correct. Now that I've received…
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