Today: Economic development, Wichita city council, Wichita city government, Recycling, Education, Wichita and Kansas schools.
Posts tagged as “Jeff Longwell”
Wichita City Council Member Jeff Longwell
Today: Elections, Dave Unruh, Jim Skelton, Gwen Welshimer, Republican Party, Wichita Pachyderm Club, Paul Gray, Jeff Longwell, Rhonda Holman, Sue Schlapp, Carl Brewer.
Yesterday's action by the Wichita City Council in approving two Community Improvement Districts signals a new era in increased intervention in free markets by Wichita politicians and bureaucrats.
CIDs are a creation of the Kansas Legislature from last year. They allow merchants in a geographic district to collect additional sales tax of up to two cents per dollar. The extra sales tax is used for the exclusive benefit of the CID.
Is there a point where sales taxes become so high that consumers need to be warned?
Sales tax is already high in the northeast Kansas college town of Lawrence, home to the University of Kansas Jayhawks. After July 1, the combined sales tax rate -- state, county, and city -- will be 8.85 percent.
Friday's groundbreaking of a new Warren Theater and renovation of the existing theater in west Wichita provide an opportunity to revisit some of the public policy issues surrounding Wichita city government and its intervention in the economy in the name of economic development.
Is a tax increment financing (TIF) district a tax abatement? Wichita city council member Jeff Longwell, now Wichita's vice-mayor, doesn't think so. During this week's city council meeting, Longwell said this in explaining his support of a TIF district created for the benefit of Real Development: "One of the things that people I think need to understand is that this is not a tax abatement."
On Tuesday the Wichita City Council will consider an economic development incentive for a local business. The process the city is using to grant this incentive bypasses the scrutiny that accompanies the formation of TIF districts while providing essentially the same benefit.
Tuesday's meeting of the Wichita city council featured a lengthy discussion of a proposal that in the past, might have been passed without much public discussion. Instead, some useful information emerged, and the meeting opened the possibility of more citizen input not only on this item, but future city initiatives.
At this week's meeting of the WichitaCity Council, underperforming companies that have received economic incentives was at issue.
Last week a Wichita company that's expanding made an application for industrial revenue bonds and accompanying property tax abatements. The company's application wasn't timely, and for that reason is not likely to receive the requested help. The discussion surrounding the item provides insight into city council members' ideas about the role of the city in economic development.
Randy Roebuck, in a presentation at the Wichita city council workshop, promoted the idea of a "digital oasis" in Wichita. It would be a place where people can go to get free help with technologies such as cell phones and computers
A local non-profit organization, held in high esteem, seeks to purchase property owned by the City of Wichita. So what's the problem?
The officials involved -- council members Jeff Longwell and Lavonta Williams, who negotiated the addition of the parking with county commissioners; Allen Bell, who is Wichita's director of urban development; and Mayor Carl Brewer -- need to answer to the citizens of Wichita as to why this important business was conducted in this haphazard manner that disrespects citizen involvement.
Today, September 4, 2008, marks the first day of the ban on smoking in Wichita. It’s not quite a total ban, and that has some…