Visioneering

Wichita local government jobs grow, but slower growth seen in private sector jobs

Wichita local government jobs grow, but slower growth seen in private sector jobs

Compared to peer cities, Wichita performs well in growth of local government jobs, but poorly in creating private sector jobs. I've prepared statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor for Wichita and two groups of peer cities. One group is our Visioneering peer cities. A second group includes those cities plus cities that Visioneers traveled to on official visits, plus a few others. The results are shown nearby. (Click on charts for larger versions, or click here to use the interactive visualization.) This data is annual data through the complete year 2013. The presentation of the…
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Wichita economic development incentives: Do they help?

Wichita economic development incentives: Do they help?

The Wichita City Council regularly awards economic development incentives. Are these incentives helpful, or not? In November the Wichita City Council granted Industrial Revenue Bonds to Spirit Aerosystems. The amount of the proposed bond issue was $49,000,000. The purpose of these IRBs is to allow the recipient to escape the payment of property taxes, and often sales taxes too. This action by the council may exempt up to $49,000,000 of property from taxation, both ad valorem (property) and sales. A 100 percent exemption is proposed for five years, plus a second five years if conditions are met. The city uses…
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Wichita not good for small business

Post by Voice For Liberty. The Wichita Business Journal reports today: When it comes to having good conditions to support small businesses, well, Wichita isn’t exactly at the top of the list, according to a new ranking from The Business Journals. In fact, the Wichita metro area’s small-business vitality score is nearly at the bottom -- 99th out of the 101 U.S. metro areas included in the study. (Wichita near bottom for small-business vitality score, April 2, 2014) Many in Wichita don't want to recognize and confront the bad news about the performance of the Wichita-area economy. Last year, when…
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Wichita’s growth in gross domestic product

Compared to peer areas, Wichita's record of growth in gross domestic product is similar to that of job creation: Wichita performs poorly. Looking at growth in GDP, Wichita lags behind the metropolitan statistical areas that we consider our peers (according to Visioneering Wichita), but not behind all the peer cities that I selected. Wichita does better than Springfield, Illinois, for example. I chose to include that as a peer metropolitan area because that's the immediate past city that Gary Plummer worked in. He was president of that city's Chamber of Commerce, and is now president of the Wichita Metro Chamber…
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For Wichita’s economic development machinery, failure

Compared to a broad group of peer metropolitan areas, Wichita performs very poorly. As Wichita embarks upon a new era of economic development, we need to ask who to trust with this important task. The good news: In a recent op-ed, Wichita Mayor Carl Brewer wrote that the city needs to make a decision regarding "A more aggressive approach to job creation." (Carl Brewer: Wichita can have a great next year, December 22, 2013 Wichita Eagle) The bad news: Wichita has performed very poorly in job creation in recent decades, and even if we decide on a more aggressive approach,…
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Wichita economic development: Worth higher taxes?

In this excerpt from WichitaLiberty.TV: Wichita city and business leaders are likely to ask Wichitans to support a higher sales tax in order to support additional economic development efforts. Should Wichitans vote in favor of this? View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Another thing that a tax increase in Wichita might be used for is for economic development. That is, paying subsidies to companies so that they will provide jobs in Wichita. It’s felt that Wichita needs to step up its economic development efforts because things haven’t been going well lately. Not that everyone agrees. You’ve seen…
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In Wichita, ‘free markets’ used to justify business welfare

Incredibly, a prominent Wichita business uses the free market to justify its request for economic development incentives. A gullible city council buys the argument. At the December 10, 2013 meeting of the Wichita City Council, Bombardier LearJet received an economic development incentive that will let it avoid paying some property taxes on newly-purchased property. The amount involved in this particular incident is relatively small. According to city documents, "the value of the abated taxes on that investment could be as much as $1,980." (Bombardier receives millions each year in other government subsidies; see Kansas PEAK program: corporate welfare wrapped in…
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Employment visualization updated; Wichita still in last place

Wichita continues to lag behind its peer cities in job growth, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The interactive visualization referenced below lets you select any number of metropolitan areas (or states) and track progress in job growth. The nearby chart shows Wichita and its Visioneering peer cities (click on charts for larger versions). For about the last ten years Wichita has been in last place in job growth, and by no small margin. It wasn't always that way. Results like this should cause us to question our economic development strategies and the people and organizations we…
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Wichita-area income growth

Data for income in the nation's metropolitan statistical areas is now available for 2012, so I've updated some visualizations with the recent data. This visualization presents three statistics: Population, personal income, and per capita personal income. For each measurement, I present the relative change from the previous year, but also the compound rate of growth. The latter lets us see the effect of long term trends compounded over time, rather than what may have happened in any single year. (There are some issues related to per capita measures that require caution; see Wichita and peer GDP growth for an explanation.)…
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Cessna, another Wichita company asking for tax relief

This week the Wichita City Council will consider granting economic development incentives to Cessna Aircraft Company. The incentives are in the form of property (ad valorem) tax relief, implemented through the city's Industrial Revenue Bond program, as described by city documents: Since 1991, the City Council has approved issuance of Industrial Revenue Bonds ("IRBs") totaling $1.2 billion to finance expansion and modernization of Cessna Aircraft Company ("Cessna") facilities in Wichita. The City Council also authorized 100% ad valorem tax exemptions for all bond-financed property for periods of up to ten years. The city does this for economic development, which in…
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