Carrie Rengers’ Wichita Eagle column from yesterday (Warehouse plans near airport are called off) reports on two Wichita real estate developers who have canceled a project that would be a valuable addition to our city. The reason for canceling? Wichita’s property tax environment.
In Wichita, we’re separating real estate development into two classes. There are those who listen to markets and consumers, and try to satisfy the needs that they sense. These are the market entrepreneurs.
Then, there are the political entrepreneurs. These developers make use of devices such as tax increment financing (TIF districts) to offload large portions of the cost of their developments on the public. They do this by pleasing government officials and bureaucrats, not consumers.