Tax increment financing

In Wichita, more tax increment financing

In Wichita, more tax increment financing

The Wichita city council will consider expanding an existing TIF, or tax increment financing district. Tomorrow the Wichita City Council will consider expanding the boundaries of an existing tax increment financing district in downtown Wichita. [1. City of Wichita City Council Agenda for October 8, 2019. Agenda Item No. V-1, Public Hearings Considering an Expansion of the Union Station Tax Increment Financing District and Considering a Development Agreement for the Union Station Project Area 3 Plan (District I)] According to city documents for this agenda item, Expanding the District would allow the Developer to capture the additional increment generated by…
Read More
In Wichita, here’s what tax decrement means

In Wichita, here’s what tax decrement means

New research explains what you may have wondered: What is tax "decrement" financing? Wichita has a financing mechanism known as the Gilbert-Mosley tax decrement fund. I knew about tax increment financing, but I never really understood how tax decrement financing worked. I had thought that in this context, "decrement" had a sophisticated meaning that I wasn't able to understand because I wasn't smart enough, or I hadn't tried hard enough, or I didn't have the correct documents to read. Now, Chase M. Billingham and Sean Sandefur have published detailed research that explains how the Gilbert-Mosley financing works. Billingham is Assistant…
Read More
King of Freight move a step sideways

King of Freight move a step sideways

A Wichita firm plans to move its offices to what was billed as the city's premier entertainment district. King of Freight, a Wichita freight brokerage firm, is planning to move its operations to the vacant Gander Mountain building in WaterWalk. This requires a modification to the lease of the land. It's important to recognize that King of Freight is not the tenant in the lease. The landlord is the City of Wichita. The tenant is WaterWalk LLC, a Kansas limited liability company, whose president is Jack P. DeBoer. The lease covers only the land, not the building. The city does…
Read More
Wichita considers a new stadium

Wichita considers a new stadium

The City of Wichita plans subsidized development of a sports facility as an economic driver. Originally published in July 2017. This week the Wichita City Council will consider a project plan for a redevelopment district near Downtown Wichita. It is largely financed by Tax Increment Financing and STAR bonds. Both divert future incremental tax revenue to pay for various things within the district.[1. Weeks, Bob. STAR bonds in Kansas. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/kansas-government/star-bonds-kansas/.] [1. Weeks, Bob. Wichita TIF projects: some background. Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/wichita-government/wichita-tif-projects-background/.] City documents promise this: "The City plans to substantially rehabilitate or replace Lawrence-Dumont Stadium into a multi-sport…
Read More
Naftzger Park costs up, yet again

Naftzger Park costs up, yet again

The cost of fixing an oversight in the design of Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita is rising, and again we're not to talk about it, even though there are troubling aspects. Last week the Wichita City Council was scheduled to consider an item regarding the rebuild of Wichita City Council. That item was removed from the agenda the day before the meeting. It now appears on the agenda for the February 12 meeting, and with a higher price tag. ("Consider" is not quite the right term, as the item was on the council's consent agenda. That's where items are passed…
Read More
Facade improvement program raises issues in Wichita

Facade improvement program raises issues in Wichita

An incentive program in Wichita should cause us to question why investment in Wichita is not feasible without subsidy. At its February 5, 2019 meeting, the Wichita City Council will consider an item regarding economic development in Delano. The owner of a building there has applied for financial assistance under the city's facade improvement program. The purpose of the facade improvement program, according to city documents, is to provide "low-cost loans and grants" to help improve the appearance of buildings "located in defined areas needing revitalization, including the City’s core area." The matter before the council this week is to…
Read More
Naftzger Park cost rising, and we’re not to talk about it

Naftzger Park cost rising, and we’re not to talk about it

The cost of the Naftzger Park makeover is rising, will be paid for with borrowed funds, and possibly handled without public discussion. The cost of the Naftzger Park project in downtown Wichita is rising, according to an item the Wichita City Council will consider at its Tuesday February 5, 2019 meeting. According to city documents, an additional $85,000 is needed for stormwater retention, a function the former pond provided. This seems like a major oversight in the original project plans. The city has regulations regarding stormwater retention that private sector developers must follow. Didn't any city planners consider these regulations…
Read More
WichitaLiberty.TV: Economic development incentives

WichitaLiberty.TV: Economic development incentives

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: A look at some economic development incentive programs in Wichita and Kansas. Second in a series. Tax increment financing (TIF) is prominent in this episode. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 219, broadcast November 25, 2018. Shownotes Wichita 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. Industrial revenue bonds in Kansas:…
Read More
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…
Read More
More TIF spending in Wichita

More TIF spending in Wichita

The Wichita City Council will consider approval of a redevelopment plan in a tax increment financing (TIF) district. This week the Wichita City Council will hold a public hearing considering approval of more tax increment financing (TIF) spending in downtown Wichita. The spending is for the second phase of redevelopment of the Union Station property on East Douglas. According to city documents, the total cost of this phase is $31,000,000, with TIF paying for $2,954,734. [1. Wichita city council agenda packet for September 11, 2018.] This is a pay-as-you-go form of TIF, which means the city does not borrow funds…
Read More
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…
Read More
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…
Read More
Delano catalyst site

Delano catalyst site

A development near downtown Wichita may receive subsidy through four different avenues. This week the Wichita City Council will consider approval of a development agreement with EPC Real Estate, LLC, for the Delano catalyst site. This is vacant land north of Douglas, between the Advanced Learning Library and the River Vista project. Update: The measure passed four votes to three, with Bluebaugh, Frye, and Longwell in the minority. Wichita Eagle reporting mentions some of the public subsidy the development will receive: $12 million over a period of years, in the form of Tax Increment Financing and Community Improvement District sales…
Read More
In Wichita, not your tax dollars

In Wichita, not your tax dollars

At a Wichita City Council meeting, citizens are told, "These tax dollars are not your tax dollars." At the meeting of the Wichita City Council this week, Wichita City Council Member Lavonta Williams (district 1, northeast Wichita) lectured the audience, saying: "These tax dollars are not your tax dollars." The matter under consideration was a redevelopment plan for Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. Approval was necessary if tax increment financing (TIF) funds could be spent on the park. [1. Weeks, Bob. Naftzger Park tax increment financing (TIF). Available at https://wichitaliberty.org/wichita-government/naftzger-park-tax-increment-financing-tif/.] TIF is a mechanism whereby future tax revenues are redirected…
Read More
Redesigned Naftzger Park likely not only subsidy

Redesigned Naftzger Park likely not only subsidy

The developers of property near Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita will possibly receive millions in other subsidy. The powerful impetus to redevelop Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita is attributed to two sources: The NCAA basketball games in March and the desire of TGC Development Group to develop property it owns near the park. How much motivation comes from which source depends on who you ask. But it's clear that the present state of the park is a problem for TGC. A newly redesigned park will effectively serve as the "front yard" for TGC's projects, and will greatly benefit that company.…
Read More
Naftzger Park land ownership

Naftzger Park land ownership

One of the issues surrounding Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita is land ownership. Information from the Sedgwick County Online Map Portal shows land parcels and ownership. The nearby illustration shows Naftzger Park and its environs. (I don't think it's possible for me to save a link that brings you directly to the map as I've shown it.) On this map, the two parcels owned by private owners are outlined in orange. The City of Wichita or the Board of Park Commissioners own the other parcels north of William Street. We can see that the park is built partially on land…
Read More
Naftzger Park public hearing

Naftzger Park public hearing

On Tuesday August 15 the Wichita City Council will hold a public hearing to consider authorizing spending TIF funds on Naftzger Park. This week the Wichita City Council is scheduled to hold a public hearing on a new redevelopment project plan for a tax increment financing (TIF) district in downtown Wichita. The redevelopment project plan contemplates transforming Naftzger Park. The hearing is part of the regular council meeting at 9:00 am Tuesday August 15 at city hall. While the city has held four public meetings on the topic of Naftzger Park redesign, these meetings were not legally required. But the…
Read More
WichitaLiberty.TV: Naftzger Park

WichitaLiberty.TV: Naftzger Park

In this episode of WichitaLiberty.TV: Wichita Assistant City Manager and Director of Development Scot Rigby joins hosts Bob Weeks and Karl Peterjohn to discuss the plans for Naftzger Park. Then, Bob and Karl continue the discussion. View below, or click here to view at YouTube. Episode 161, broadcast August 13, 2017. Shownotes The city's page for Naftzger Park The city's economic development page Naftzger Park Facebook group Naftzger Park public hearing to be considered. The Wichita City Council may set August 15, 2017 as the date for a public hearing on the future of Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. Photo…
Read More
Naftzger Park construction manager

Naftzger Park construction manager

The City of Wichita seeks a construction manager for the construction of Naftzger Park. The request for qualification is titled "CONSTRUCTION MANAGER AT RISK to Construct Naftzger Park." On the city's purchasing website the relevant information is contained in five separate documents. I've gathered them together in one document, which you may access here. The city may be getting ahead of itself. The RFQ sets the deadline for submissions as 2:00 pm Tuesday August 15. That morning is when the Wichita City Council will consider approval of the redevelopment project plan. [1. Weeks, Bob. Upcoming Naftzger Park legislative action. Available…
Read More
Naftzger Park tax increment financing (TIF)

Naftzger Park tax increment financing (TIF)

Background on tax increment financing (TIF) as applied to Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. The City of Wichita has proposed using tax increment financing (TIF) revenue to redevelop Naftzger Park in downtown Wichita. Various city officials have said something along these lines: There is a pot of money -- 1.5 million dollars -- available for use on Naftzger Park, and this money can't be used for any other purpose. Also, it's implied that if this money is not used on Naftzger Park, this money will not be available for any purpose, almost as though the money will be wasted. The…
Read More