TIF districts

Naftzger Park tax increment financing (TIF)

Naftzger Park tax increment financing (TIF)

Background on tax increment financing (TIF) as applied to Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. The City of Wichita has proposed using tax increment financing (TIF) revenue to redevelop Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. Various city officials have said something along these lines: There is a pot of money -- 1.5 million dollars -- available for use on Naftzger Park, and this money can't be used for any other purpose. Also, it's implied that if this money is not used on Naftzger Park, this money will not be available for any purpose, almost as though the money will be wasted. The…
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Upcoming Naftzger Park legislative action

Upcoming Naftzger Park legislative action

The redesign of Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita is not a done deal, at least not legally. While the City of Wichita is engaging citizens and planning for the future of Naftzger Park, there is still another legislative step the city must take in order to fully proceed. In Kansas, use of tax increment financing requires at least two steps. The first step is that cities or counties establish the boundaries of the TIF district. After the TIF district is defined, cities then must approve one or more project plans that authorize the spending of TIF funds in specific ways.…
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In Wichita, new stadium to be considered

In Wichita, new stadium to be considered

The City of Wichita plans subsidized development of a sports facility as an economic driver. 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://bobw7.sg-host.com/kansas-government/star-bonds-kansas/.] [1. Weeks, Bob. Wichita TIF projects: some background. Available at https://bobw7.sg-host.com/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 athletic complex. The TIF project…
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Wichita WaterWalk agreement not followed

Wichita WaterWalk agreement not followed

Does the City of Wichita enforce its public-private partnership agreements? In some cases the city doesn't even ask for the information that is needed for enforcement. A Wichita Eagle article reports on a 2002 public-private partnership that called for the private-sector company to submit an annual report to the city. But the company did not submit the reports, and the city didn't ask for them. The city did after the Eagle inquired. [1. Lefler, Dion. WaterWalk profit-sharing: 15 years, zero dollars for Wichita. Wichita Eagle, July 8, 2017. Available at http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/article160147944.html.] The deal involves the city leasing land to a…
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Downtown Wichita’s Block One, a beneficiary of tax increment financing

Downtown Wichita’s Block One, a beneficiary of tax increment financing

Before forming new tax increment financing districts, Wichita taxpayers ought to ask for progress on current districts. I'll not bore you with the mechanism of tax increment financing (TIF). But if you're curious, please read Wichita TIF projects: some background and Tax increment financing district (TIF) resources. Whatever the mechanism, tax increment financing is meant to spur economic growth. But in one of Wichita's largest TIF districts, economic activity, much less growth, is difficult to find. In particular, "Block One" -- a square block bounded by Douglas and William, Broadway and Topeka -- has benefited from TIF money, but has…
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Tax increment financing in Kansas

Tax increment financing in Kansas

In this excerpt from WichitaLiberty.TV: How does Tax Increment Financing (TIF) work in Kansas? Is is a good thing, or not? View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Originally broadcast June 7, 2015. (more…)
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Exchange Place incentives, including free sales tax and an ethics bypass

Exchange Place incentives, including free sales tax and an ethics bypass

A downtown Wichita project receives free sales taxes and a bypass of Wichita's code of conduct for city council members. Remarks to the Wichita City Council, March 3, 2015. Regarding the Exchange Place project in downtown Wichita, I'd like to remind the council of the entire subsidy package offered to the project. There are historic preservation tax credits, which may amount to 25 percent of the project cost. These credits have the same economic impact as a cash payment, and their cost must be born by taxpayers. There is $12.5 million in tax increment financing, which re-routes future property tax…
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Wichita drops taxpayer protection clause

Wichita drops taxpayer protection clause

To protect itself against self-defeating appeals of property valuation in tax increment financing districts, the City of Wichita once included a protective clause in developer agreements. But this consideration is not present in two proposed agreements. When the Wichita Eagle reported that a downtown developer represented himself as an agent of the city in order to cut his taxes on publicly owned property he leases in the Old Town Cinema Plaza, city officials were not pleased. The property in question is located in a tax increment financing district. Incremental tax revenue from the property is earmarked for paying off bonds…
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