Entrepreneurship

Year in Review: 2016

Year in Review: 2016

Here are highlights from Voice for Liberty for 2016. Was it a good year for the principles of individual liberty, limited government, economic freedom, and free markets in Wichita and Kansas? Also be sure to view the programs on WichitaLiberty.TV for guests like journalist, novelist, and blogger Bud Norman; Radio talk show host Joseph Ashby; David Bobb, President of Bill of Rights Institute; Heritage Foundation trade expert Bryan Riley; Radio talk show host Andy Hooser; Keen Umbehr; John Chisholm on entrepreneurship; James Rosebush, author of "True Reagan," Jonathan Williams of American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC); Gidget Southway, or Danedri Herbert;…
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Regulation in Wichita, a ‘labyrinth of city processes’

Regulation in Wichita, a ‘labyrinth of city processes’

Wichita offers special regulatory treatment for special circumstances, widening the gulf between the haves and have-nots. The Wichita Eagle reports that part of what the City of Wichita is offering to Cargill as an inducement to stay in Wichita is regulatory relief.[1. Rengers, Carrie. City offers Cargill tax abatement, parking garage financing. Wichita Eagle, June 6, 2016. Available at www.kansas.com/news/business/article82076122.html.] In particular: The city has offered smaller incentives to Cargill as well, including an ombudsman. [Wichita assistant city manager and director of development Scot] Rigby called the ombudsman something of a project manager. “They’ll just call one person,” Rigby said…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: John Chisholm on entrepreneurship

WichitaLiberty.TV: John Chisholm on entrepreneurship

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Author John Chisholm talks about entrepreneurship, regulation, economics, and education. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 119, broadcast May 8, 2016. Shownotes John Chisholm's new book Unleash Your Inner Company: Use Passion and Perseverance to Build Your Ideal Business at Amazon and its own website. John Chisholm Ventures
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Spirit Aerosystems tax relief

Spirit Aerosystems tax relief

Wichita's largest employer asks to avoid paying millions in taxes, which increases the cost of government for everyone else, including young companies struggling to break through. This week the Wichita City Council will consider offering Spirit Aerosystems economic development incentives that will allow the company to avoid paying some $45 million in taxes. This will be accomplished through the authorization of $280 million of Industrial Revenue Bonds. [1. City of Wichita. Agenda for May 3, 2016. Available at wichita.gov/Government/Council/Agendas/05-03-2016%20City%20Council%20Agenda%20Packet.pdf.] Industrial Revenue Bonds are a vehicle for generating and conveying tax exemptions. [1. Weeks, Bob. Industrial revenue bonds in Kansas. Available…
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WichitaLiberty.TV: Wichita outreach, city council, and entrepreneurship

WichitaLiberty.TV: Wichita outreach, city council, and entrepreneurship

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: A look at Wichita community outreach and communications, rewriting city council history, and entrepreneurship. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 102, broadcast December 6, 2015. Shownotes Activate Wichita and Facebook page Video from Wichita City Council meeting and references Complete remarks from Joseph Ashby Show Kauffman Foundation, Video: Myth-busting Entrepreneurship
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Wichita to consider tax abatements

Wichita to consider tax abatements

Wichita considers three tax abatements, in one case forcing an "investment" on others that it itself would not accept. This week the Wichita City Council will consider three tax abatements to companies in the aerospace business. Two are very large companies, and one is in the small business category. In two cases the tax abatements are implemented through industrial revenue bonds. Under this program the city is not lending money. Instead, the program is a vehicle, created by under Kansas law, for companies to avoid paying property tax. In some cases companies may also avoid paying sales tax. In another…
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Wichita to consider three tax abatements

Wichita to consider three tax abatements

When considering whether to grant three property tax abatements, the Wichita city council is unlikely to ask this question: Why can't these companies expand if they have to pay the same taxes everyone else pays? This week the Wichita City Council will consider property tax abatements for three different companies. One is a new request for property tax relief under the city's Economic Development Tax Exemption (EDX) program. The company is a supplier to the aerospace industry. The second is a request for a five-year extension of a five-year property tax abatement. The company met the goals established five years…
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Bombardier can be a learning experience

Bombardier can be a learning experience

The unfortunate news of the cancellation of a new aircraft program can be a learning opportunity for Wichita. As Wichita seeks to grow its economy, the loss of a new aircraft program at one of the city's major employers is unwelcome news. Now it is important that our leaders and officials seek to learn lessons from this loss. But first, we must acknowledge the loss. Wichita economic development officials are quick to trumpet successes, but so far there is no mention of this loss from the city or its economic development agencies. The project received state, local and federal incentives.…
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Entrepreneurship in Wichita

As Wichita seeks to reboot its spirit of entrepreneurship, we should make sure we do things that have a chance of working. The Kauffman Foundation has conducted research. One paper is Guidelines for Local and State Governments to Promote Entrepreneurship. In its introduction, it holds this: In this paper, we begin with a critical overview of two of the most commonly used strategies to promote entrepreneurship: creating public venture funds and business incubators. We then explain that these strategies often neglect an essential principle: connectivity and learning by entrepreneurs. Next, we describe ways in which public venture funds and incubators…
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Wichita cheers its planned economy

Wichita cheers its planned economy

While success in growing a company is welcome in Wichita, there are broader issues that affect the rest of the metropolitan area. This week the Wichita City Council extended a property tax abatement for a manufacturing company in Wichita. The tax abatement was granted under the city's Industrial Revenue Bonds program. Under this program no city money is lent to the company. The sole reason for the bonds is the accompanying property tax exemption, and in some cases, a sales tax exemption. City documents from 2008 estimate the company will avoid paying $239,051 in property taxes for the first year.…
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Making Wichita an inclusive and attractive community

Making Wichita an inclusive and attractive community

There are things both easy and difficult Wichita could do to make the city inclusive and welcoming of all, especially the young and diverse. In its questionnaire for candidates for Wichita mayor and city council, the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce asked this: "How will you work to make Wichita an inclusive community where all will feel welcome, particularly the young and diverse talent we need to help attract more young and diverse talent?" There are a few very easy things Wichita could do to appeal to millennials -- I think that is one of the groups the Chamber addresses…
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Kansas is not an entrepreneurial state

Kansas is not an entrepreneurial state

The performance of Kansas in entrepreneurial activity is not high, compared to other states. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation prepares the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. According to the Foundation, "The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity is a leading indicator of new business creation in the United States. Capturing new business owners in their first month of significant business activity, this measure provides the earliest documentation of new business development across the country." As shown by the data, Kansas ranks low in entrepreneurial activity. This is true when Kansas is compared to the nation, and also when compared to a…
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Wichita economic development items

Wichita economic development items

The Wichita city council has been busy with economic development items, and more are upcoming. At the November 25 meeting of the Wichita City Council, on the consent agenda, the council passed these items. Approved a sublease in a warehouse. This action was necessary as the incentivized warehouse pays no property taxes due to a subsidy program. Given tax costs and industrial building rents, this policy gives these incentivized buildings a cost advantage of about 20 to 25 percent over competitors. That’s very high, and makes it difficult for existing buildings to compete. This lease is for 40,500 square feet…
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Again, Wichita policies are fluid

Again, Wichita policies are fluid

Wichita city hall promises policies that are clear, predictable and transparent, except when they're not. On July 22, 2104, a presentation to the Wichita City Council sought to assure the council and public that a proposed jobs fund created with money collected by the proposed sales tax would have policies that govern the spending of funds: "GWEDC - Finds businesses to expand, recruit, follows established policies for retention/recruitment." But there's a problem. It's difficult for governments to establish policies that will satisfy everyone. How do we know today what we'll need five or ten years down the road? When governments…
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Union Station TIF provides lessons for Wichita voters

Union Station TIF provides lessons for Wichita voters

A proposed downtown Wichita development deserves more scrutiny than it has received, as it provides a window into the city's economic development practice that voters should peek through as they consider voting for the Wichita sales tax. Next week a Wichita real estate developer will ask the Wichita City Council to approve a package of incentives for the redevelopment of Union Station in downtown Wichita. The proposal contains many facets that citizens need to understand. Additionally, the city's handling of this matter is something that voters will want to keep in mind as they make their decision on the proposed…
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Kauffman index of entrepreneurial activity

Kauffman index of entrepreneurial activity

The performance of Kansas in entrepreneurial activity is not high, compared to other states. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation prepares the Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity. According to the Foundation, "The Kauffman Index of Entrepreneurial Activity is a leading indicator of new business creation in the United States. Capturing new business owners in their first month of significant business activity, this measure provides the earliest documentation of new business development across the country." As shown by the data, Kansas ranks low in entrepreneurial activity. This is true when Kansas is compared to the nation, and also when compared to a…
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Kansas newspapers against the children

A Kansas newspaper editorial illustrates that for the establishment, schools -- the institution of public schools, that is -- are more important than students. An unsigned editorial in the Garden City Telegram proclaimed "Another attempt to undermine public schools materialized last week in the Kansas Statehouse." (Legislators turn to ALEC for poor plan on schools, March 25, 2014.) What was in a bill that so worried the Telegram editorial writers? According to the op-ed, the dangerous provisions are "expansion of charter schools, overhaul of teacher licensing and tax breaks for private school scholarships." To the Telegram, these ideas are "radical"…
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In Wichita, more tax for more transit?

In 2014 it is likely that Wichitans will be asked to pay an increased sales tax, part of which would fund the existing bus transit service, as the system is not sustaining itself. Another part of the increased sales tax might expand the service. Wichitans ought to think twice before voting to spend additional taxpayer funds for either reason. In fact, Wichita ought to consider spending less on public transit, and look to the private sector to provide transit that people want to use, and which meets their real needs. Transit is expensive. To be more precise, government-provided transit is…
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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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Wichita won’t consider this, I’m sure

As Wichita considers continuing taxing everyone to pay for a transit system that few people use, and as Wichita considers taxing everyone even more to pay for a bigger transit system that only a few additional people will use, here's an example of something that I'm sure is not under consideration: Privatization, entrepreneurship, and diversity.
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