TKC BREAKING AND EXCLUSIVE NEWS!!! KANSAS CITY TAX FIGHTERS REVEAL PLAZA MERCHANTS DON'T WANT TOY TRAIN STREETCAR EXTENSION AND NEW ART FAIR COULD BE A COUNTRY CLUB THREAT!!!
The latest word from the Citizen For Responsible Government offers quite a bit of insight into the recent mixed bag of City Hall votes and corporate welfare trends in Kansas City.
First and foremost . . .
KANSAS CITY TAX FIGHTERS TELL US THAT PLAZA MERCHANTS OPPOSE THE TOY TRAIN STREETCAR EXTENSION!!!
Here's insight into this statement along with a supporting theory:
"CFRG thinks this is nothing but a bluff from the Mayor. The Plaza Merchants are not openly supporting the Mayor’s streetcar expansion and thus the Mayor sets up an Art Festival to compete with the Plaza’s Annual Art Festival. The Plaza Festival is a huge event for the Plaza and a competing festival around the same time of year could take away from participation. If the Plaza gets behind the streetcar expansion, CFRG believes this new festival will disappear. We hope the Plaza holds the line on this one. Many voters feel there are better places to spend these funds; we don’t need another Arts Festival. "
And the update in full . . .
City Hall got sold out again by certain council members: The Mayor worked his bluff and the TIF's and other CID give-aways keep on rolling
Councilman Lucas’ TIF reform gets approved:
We compliment Councilman Lucas and his supporters on the council for their perseverance in this matter. Now all developers will pay some property taxes instead of getting a free ride. This is a small start on a process that needs a major overhaul. Thank you Councilman Lucas and supporters…
The City Council approved the CID for the Intercontinental Hotel by a vote of 11 to 2.
The only two Council members using sound judgment, Heather Hall and Dan Fowler, voted against the proposal. The remaining sold out for a promise of $250,000 pay off from the IC Hotel over the next seven years to help fix up truly blighted homes and provide jobs specifically for Kansas City residents. $100,000 will be paid the first year and $25,000 per year for the next six. This is supposedly to be spread over 40 properties. So the first year, each property will get $2,500 and then $625 for each of the remaining years. This won’t do much if the properties are truly blighted and does not include any of the job creation mentioned.
CFRG thinks 11 members of our City Council got played. IC gets $5,000,000 from taxpayers for a $250,000 payment, pretty good deal for them. This creates a terrible precedent and asks .."Are CID’ s now for Sale at City Hall”? We applaud Councilpersons Barnes and Canady for their attempt to get something for the City, at least they tried. We call on them to advise the local media and ourselves when they see the first check and subsequent checks. MAKE A LIST! we would like to see a listing of the properties receiving the funds so we can interview them. Again thanks to Heather Hall and Dan Fowler for their dissension.
The Mayor puts forth his bluff and received approval 11 - 2:
The Mayor pushed for $250,000 for an Arts Festival. The funds are slated to come from “neighborhood tourism dollars” and the proceeds from the festival will go to MARC???? The only two councilmen objecting to this expenditure were Lucas and Reed. At least there was a brief hint of sanity in the chamber.
CFRG thinks this is nothing but a bluff from the Mayor. The Plaza Merchants are not openly supporting the Mayor’s streetcar expansion and thus the Mayor sets up an Art Festival to compete with the Plaza’s Annual Art Festival. The Plaza Festival is a huge event for the Plaza and a competing festival around the same time of year could take away from participation. If the Plaza gets behind the streetcar expansion, CFRG believes this new festival will disappear. We hope the Plaza holds the line on this one. Many voters feel there are better places to spend these funds; we don’t need another Arts Festival.
The hotel and mixed use project North of the Plaza was able to stack two CID’s on top of one another this week. This project will now enjoy a 2 percent sales tax in their CIDs instead of the customary 1 percent. Who will be the first developer to stack 4 or 5 CIDs on top of one another?
While the Plaza continues to crash and burn on weekends and Westport and Martini Corner experience major problems on the weekends, Councilperson Justus continues her push for the single terminal airport. She just doesn’t get it or has been promised something in return for riding a dead horse . . .
We fully expect the developers of the Hyatt Downtown Hotel to come back to the City for a guarantee of their bond issue. The bond issue is now up to $200,000,000, $40,000,000 more than originally planned and there is speculation that the bonding companies won’t sell the bonds unless Kansas City guarantees them. Remember, the Mayor promised the taxpayers would not be on the hook for any liabilities on the Hyatt Hotel. We really never understood this since the LCRA will own the hotel and the LCRA is a City entity. Stay tuned and remember we’re still paying off the last deal the City got involved with this same developer. We will be paying that off for several years to come.
Combat Tax… CFRG has asked for a published listing of the 80 plus entities who get these funds and what they do with them. So far no response. If no list is forthcoming, people should vote NO on this tax. The voters deserve to know who gets these funds and what they do with them.
$800,000,000 bond issue next year. Again, CFRG has asked for a published list of proposed projects. No list? Vote No! So far all we have is the Water Dept. want’s $486,000,000 of the proceeds. That’s over 50% of the funds which are supposed to be used for infrastructure repair, roads, bridges, parks, sidewalks, etc.. The same Water Dept. which has raised rates substantially in the last year partially to cover costs of relocating water and sewer lines for the streetcar.
You decide . . .