Community Improvement Districts

Wichita taxing district to expand

Wichita taxing district to expand

The City of Wichita plans to expand a special tax district. Next week the Wichita City Council will consider expanding an existing CID, or Community Improvement District, in the Delano neighborhood near downtown Wichita. A map provided by the city is nearby. Community Improvement Districts are a mechanism whereby extra sales tax is collected within a district. For this CID, the city asks to collect an extra two cents per dollar, which is the maximum allowed in Kansas. CIDs are distinguished from STAR bonds, in which incremental sales tax revenue in a district is captured and handled differently from the…
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It may become more expensive in Wichita

It may become more expensive in Wichita

The City of Wichita plans to create a large district where extra sales tax will be charged. At next Tuesday's Wichita City Council meeting, the council will consider imposing additional taxes in downtown Wichita and Delano. The new tax district includes the new baseball park and large amounts of surrounding land, some of the land in Waterwalk east of the Arkansas River, and land as far north as First and Waco. The new tax is known as a Community Improvement District, or CID. In these districts, merchants charge additional sales tax which is used to benefit the owners of property…
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From Pachyderm: Economic development incentives

From Pachyderm: Economic development incentives

A look at some of the large economic development programs in Wichita and Kansas. Here's video of a presentation I gave at the Wichita Pachyderm Club this week on economic development incentives. The video was produced by Paul Soutar of Graphic Lens. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Following, articles that address some of the topics I presented: Industrial revenue bonds in Kansas: Industrial Revenue Bonds are a mechanism that Kansas cities and counties use to allow companies to avoid paying property and sales taxes. Wichita TIF projects: some background: Tax increment financing disrupts the usual flow…
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Naftzger Park private use plans unsettled

Naftzger Park private use plans unsettled

An important detail regarding Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita is unsettled, and Wichitans have reason to be wary. In the developer agreement regarding Naftzger Park passed on December 19, 2017, there was this: “The City and the Board will cooperate with Developers, upon Developers’ request, to create an Annual Master Calendar of private and public events for the Park, with the expectation that the Developers will have the use of the Park for certain private events.” [1. DEVELOPMENT AGREEMENT between the CITY OF WICHITA, KANSAS, BOARD OF PARK COMMISSIONERS OF THE CITY OF WICHITA, KANSAS, SENECA PROPERTY, LLC, and SUNFLOWER…
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In Wichita, three Community Improvement Districts to be considered

In Wichita, three Community Improvement Districts to be considered

In Community Improvement Districts (CID), merchants charge additional sales tax for the benefit of the property owners, instead of the general public. Wichita may have an additional three, contributing to the problem of CID sprawl. This week the Wichita City Council will hold public hearings considering the formation of three Community Improvement Districts. In Kansas Community Improvement Districts, merchants charge additional sales tax for the benefit of the property owners, instead of the general public. [1. Weeks, Bob. Community improvement districts in Kansas. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/kansas-government/community-improvement-districts-kansas/.] Each of these CIDs will charge customers additional sales tax, with a cap on…
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Naftzger Park project details

Naftzger Park project details

The city has finalized a proposal for a development near Naftzger Park. It includes a few new and creative provisions. This week the City of Wichita will consider a development agreement for land and buildings near Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. [1. City of Wichita Agenda Packet for December 19, 2017, Item IV-6. Available at http://wichitaks.granicus.com/AgendaViewer.php?view_id=2&clip_id=3699.] Community Improvement District The plan includes the formation of a Community Improvement District. In CIDs, merchants charge additional sales tax for the benefit of the property owners, instead of the general public.[1. Weeks, Bob. Community improvement districts in Kansas. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/kansas-government/community-improvement-districts-kansas/.] In this…
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CID and other incentives approved in downtown Wichita

CID and other incentives approved in downtown Wichita

The Wichita City Council approves economic development incentives, but citizens should not be proud of the discussion and deliberation. Today's meeting of the Wichita City Council saw the council discuss and approve economic development incentives for a project in downtown Wichita. The item contemplated economic development incentives for redevelopment of an empty building in downtown Wichita to become a Hilton Garden Inn Hotel. The incentives being considered were a Community Improvement District (CID), Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB), a parking agreement, and a skywalk easement. The discussion by the council was useful for revealing two members who are opposed to some…
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CID and other incentives proposed in downtown Wichita

CID and other incentives proposed in downtown Wichita

A proposal for a community improvement district in downtown Wichita includes a public hearing, but much information the public needs is missing. This week the Wichita City Council will consider starting the process of creating a community improvement district and other economic development incentives. The action the council will consider Tuesday is to accept the petition of the property owners and set September 6 as the date for the public hearing. Also, on September 6, "a development agreement defining the City and Developer’s responsibilities will be presented to the City Council."[1. Wichita City Council Agenda packet for August 16, 2016.…
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Kansas economic development programs

Kansas economic development programs

Explaining common economic development programs in Kansas. TIF projects: Some background Tax increment financing disrupts the usual flow of tax dollars, routing funds away from cash-strapped cities, counties, and schools back to the TIF-financed development. TIF creates distortions in the way cities develop, and researchers find that the use of TIF means lower economic growth. Click here. Tax increment financing (TIF) resources Resources on tax increment financing (TIF) districts. Click here. STAR bonds in Kansas The Kansas STAR bonds program provides a mechanism for spending by autopilot, without specific appropriation by the legislature. Click here. Industrial Revenue Bonds in Kansas…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Lack of information sharing by government, community improvement districts, and the last episode of “Love Gov”

WichitaLiberty.TV: Lack of information sharing by government, community improvement districts, and the last episode of “Love Gov”

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Do our governmental agencies really want to share data and documents with us? Community Improvement Districts and homeowners compared. And, the last episode of “Love Gov” from the Independent Institute. View below, or click here to view in high definition at YouTube. Episode 95, broadcast September 20, 2015.
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Wichita’s demolition policy

Wichita’s demolition policy

Wichita homeowners must pay for demolition of their deteriorating homes, but the owners of a long-festering and highly visible commercial property get to use tax funds for their demolition expense. Tomorrow the Wichita City Council will consider condemnation of two houses in Wichita. In both cases the Board of Building Code Standards and Appeals recommends demolition of the buildings, at the owner's expense. Action like this is common for residential property in Wichita. But we don't often see commercial property demolished by city council action. Tomorrow's proposed -- and likely -- action is in contrast with action taken a few…
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Another week in Wichita, more CID sprawl

Another week in Wichita, more CID sprawl

Shoppers in west Wichita should prepare to pay higher taxes, if the city approves a Community Improvement District at Kellogg and West Streets. Next week the Wichita City Council will consider the formation of a Community Improvement District (CID) surrounding the intersection of Kellogg and West Streets. CIDs are a relatively recent creation of the Kansas Legislature. In a CID, merchants may charge additional sales tax, up to an extra two cents per dollar. For more about their mechanism, see Community improvement districts in Kansas. In the present case, the developer proposes to charge an extra one cent per dollar…
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Wichita CID illustrates pitfalls of government intervention

Wichita CID illustrates pitfalls of government intervention

A proposed special tax district in Wichita holds the potential to harm consumers, the city's reputation, and the business prospects of competitors. Besides, we shouldn't let private parties use a government function for their exclusive benefit. This week the Wichita City Council will consider the formation of a Community Improvement Districts to benefit a proposed hotel in west Wichita. CIDs are a relatively recent creation of the Kansas Legislature. In a CID, merchants may charge additional sales tax, up to an extra two cents per dollar. For more about their mechanism, see Community improvement districts in Kansas. In the present…
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Community improvement districts in Kansas

Community improvement districts in Kansas

In Kansas Community Improvement Districts, merchants charge additional sales tax for the benefit of the property owners, instead of the general public. Community Improvement Districts are a relatively recent creation of the Kansas Legislature. In a CID, merchants charge additional sales tax, up to an extra two cents per dollar. There are two forms of CID. Both start with the drawing of the boundaries of a geographical district. In the original form, a city borrows money by selling bonds. Then, the bond proceeds are given to the owners of the district. The bonds are repaid by the extra sales tax…
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City of Wichita State Legislative Agenda: Economic Development

City of Wichita State Legislative Agenda: Economic Development

The City of Wichita wishes to preserve the many economic development incentives it has at its disposal. The proposed legislative agenda for the City of Wichita holds this regarding economic development incentives: ISSUE: The State of Kansas provides economic development incentives through a variety of programs. RECOMMEND: The Wichita City Council supports the continuation of state economic incentive programs that assist local governments in their efforts to improve their local economies. That’s all the agenda holds. In the presentation for the previous year, the request was more complete, naming specific programs. It’s useful to revisit that list, as Wichita leaders…
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Wichita City Council fails to support informing the taxed

Wichita City Council fails to support informing the taxed

It's enlightening to look back at some examples of discussion at the Wichita City Council so that we remember the attitudes of council members and city bureaucrats towards citizens. In the following example, the council was considering whether Wichitans and visitors should be notified of the amount of extra sales tax -- or even the existence of extra tax -- they will pay when shopping at merchants located within Community Improvement Districts (CIDs). Did the council side with special interests or citizens? At its December 7, 2010 meeting, the Wichita City Council considered whether stores in CIDs should be required…
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Wichita seeks to add more tax to hotel bills

Wichita seeks to add more tax to hotel bills

The city of Wichita wants hotel guests to make a "marketing investment" in Wichita by paying a "City Tourism Fee." This Tuesday the Wichita City Council will hold a public hearing regarding the formation of a Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID). The main characteristic of the proposed TBID is that it will add 2.75 percent tax to most hotel rooms sold in the City of Wichita. The funds would go to Go Wichita Convention and Visitors Bureau to be used to enhance that agency's marketing efforts. The tax is estimated to raise $2.5 million per year. What is the motivation…
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Wichita’s legislative agenda favors government, not citizens

Wichita’s legislative agenda favors government, not citizens

This week the Wichita City Council will consider its legislative agenda. This document contains many items that are contrary to economic freedom, capitalism, limited government, and individual liberty. Yet, Wichitans pay taxes to have someone in Topeka promote this agenda. I've excerpted the document here, and following are some of the most problematic items. Agenda: Existing economic development tools are essential for the continued growth and prosperity of our community. First. The premise of this item is incorrect. We don't have growth and prosperity in Wichita. Compared to a broad group of peer metropolitan areas, Wichita performs very poorly. See…
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Wichita’s legislative agenda favors government, not citizens

Wichita’s legislative agenda favors government, not citizens

This week the Wichita City Council will consider its legislative agenda. This document contains many items that are contrary to economic freedom, capitalism, limited government, and individual liberty. Yet, Wichitans pay taxes to have someone in Topeka promote this agenda. I've excerpted the document here, and following are some of the most problematic items. Agenda: Existing economic development tools are essential for the continued growth and prosperity of our community. First. The premise of this item is incorrect. We don't have growth and prosperity in Wichita. Compared to a broad group of peer metropolitan areas, Wichita performs very poorly. See…
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WichitaLiberty.TV August 11, 2013

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV, host Bob Weeks asks if shoppers have ever paid extra sales tax in Wichita's Community Improvement Districts, and describes efforts by the city to avoid disclosure of this tax. Then, are there similarities between Wichita and Detroit? Finally, a Sedgwick County Commissioner is worried about agriculture being driven out of the county, but Bob thinks he doesn't need to worry. Episode 8, broadcast August 11, 2013. View below, or click here to view on YouTube.
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