Wichita city council

Tax increment financing in Wichita benefits few

Recently the City of Wichita formed a TIF (tax increment financing) district to aid a developer who wishes to build in the College Hill neighborhood. How does a TIF district work? The Wichita Eagle reported: "A TIF district doesn't cost local governments any existing tax money. It takes property taxes paid on new construction that would ordinarily go into government coffers and redirects it to the bond holders who are financing the project." In the present case, the value of the benefit the developer sought is estimated to be worth $3.5 million to $4 million. Whether this benefit is given…
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Consider carefully costs of a new Wichita airport terminal

As Wichita considers building a new terminal at its airport, we should pause to consider the effect an expensive new terminal would have on the cost of traveling to and from Wichita, and by extension, the economic health and vitality of our town. My reading reveals that airlines are starting to become alarmed at the high costs some airports charge airlines for using their facilities. A recent Wall Street Journal article ("Airports Start to Feel the Sting Of Airline Cost-Cutting Efforts" published on May 17, 2006) reads, in part: The same economic forces in the air-travel business that have created…
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Wichita City Council Meeting, April 19, 2005

Some quotes and my remarks from the April 19, 2005 meeting of the Wichita City Council, where the AirTran subsidy was considered. Representatives from Delta attended and spoke. Allen Bell, Economic Development Director for the City of Wichita: Previous contracts had a dollar amount cap on them. The new contact, we refer to it as a no-cap contract. There is not, in the terms of the agreement, a specific dollar amount that is the not-to-exceed amount. In place of that there is a termination clause that allows the City to terminate its contract with 75 days notice for whatever reason.…
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Poetry: Welcome New Council Members

Contributed by Kenneth Kindler WELCOME NEW COUNCIL MEMBERS I AM OLD AND SICK AND GETTING GRAYI DON'T KNOW WHERE I WILL GET THE MONEY THAT THE CITY WANTS ME TO PAY. I WONDER ABOUT THIS TOWN THAT WE LIVE IN. WHERE THE MAYOR SPENDS HIS TIME DOWN IN OLD TOWN FIGHTING SIN. WE SUBSUDIZE A AIRLINE THAT MANY OF US CANNOT AFFORD TO FLY. WE HAVE SPENT MILLIONS DOWNTOWN, I WONDER WHY. HOW MANY OF US CAN AFFORD TO PAYFOR PLACES THAT ONLY A FEW CAN PLAY. DO WE NEED A DOWNTOWN ARENA? A WATER WALK. NOW WE ARE GOING…
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Open letter to Wichita City Council regarding AirTran subsidy

January 24, 2005 Dear Councilmember: I am writing to express my concern about the upcoming renewal of the subsidy being paid to AirTran Airways. You may recall that I appeared before the Council last May and spoke in opposition to the subsidy. Since then I have learned more about the Fair Fares program. As an example, Mr. Troy Carlson, then Chairman of Fair Fares, wrote a letter that was published on September 16, 2004 in the Wichita Eagle. In that letter he claimed $2.4 billion economic benefit from the Fair Fares program ($4.8 billion for the entire state). I was…
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Remarks to City Council, May 11, 2004, Regarding AirTran Airways Subsidy

I delivered these remarks to the Wichita City Council as they were preparing to vote on extending AirTran Airway's subsidy for another two years. The extension passed with only one dissenting vote. Mr. Mayor, Members of the Council: I speak today in opposition to the continuation of the subsidy the City is paying to AirTran Airways. There are several reasons why I believe this subsidy should not be continued. The primary reason is that the subsidy, since it is paid to one company and one company only, is not fair to the other companies. Yes, it is true that fares…
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