Tax abatements

Kansas cities should not unilaterally grant tax breaks

Kansas cities should not unilaterally grant tax breaks

When Kansas cities grant economic development incentives, they may also unilaterally take action that affects overlapping jurisdictions such as counties, school districts, and the state itself. The legislature should end this. When Kansas cities create tax increment financing (TIF) districts, the overlapping county and school district(s) have an opportunity to veto its creation. These other jurisdictions do not formally have to give their consent to its formation; if they do nothing, it is assumed they concur. But for some other forms of incentives, such as tax increment financing district redevelopment plans, property tax abatements, and sales tax abatements, overlapping jurisdictions…
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Wichita to consider tax exemptions

Wichita to consider tax exemptions

A Wichita company asks for property and sales tax exemptions on the same day Wichita voters decide whether to increase the sales tax, including the tax on groceries. This week the Wichita City Council will hold a public hearing concerning the issuance of Industrial Revenue Bonds to Spirit AeroSystems, Inc. The purpose of the bonds is to allow Spirit to avoid paying property taxes on taxable property purchased with bond proceeds for a period of five years. The abatement may then be extended for another five years. Additionally, Spirit will not pay sales taxes on the purchased property. City documents…
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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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To Wichita, a promise to wisely invest if sales tax passes

To Wichita, a promise to wisely invest if sales tax passes

Claims of a reformed economic development process if Wichita voters approve a sales tax must be evaluated in light of past practice and the sameness of the people in charge. If these leaders are truly interested in reforming Wichita's economic development machinery and processes, they could have started years ago using the generous incentives we already have. At a conference produced by Kansas Policy Institute on Friday September 19, a panel presented the "nuts and bolts" of the jobs portion of the proposed Wichita sales tax that voters will see on their November ballots. I asked a question: Listening to…
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Beechcraft incentives a teachable moment for Wichita

Beechcraft incentives a teachable moment for Wichita

The case of Beechcraft and economic development incentives holds several lessons as Wichita considers a new tax with a portion devoted to incentives. In December 2010 Kansas Governor Mark Parkinson announced a deal whereby the state would pay millions to Hawker Beechcraft to keep the company in Kansas. The company had been considering a purported deal to move to Baton Rouge, Louisiana. (Since then the company underwent bankruptcy, emerged as Beechcraft, and has been acquired by Textron.) The money from the state was to be supplanted by grants from the City of Wichita and Sedgwick County. At the time, the…
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