Wednesday, May 08, 2019
WILL DOWNTOWN KANSAS CITY CORPORATE WELFARE SLAP FIGHT HELP VOTERS DECIDE BETWIXT QUINTON LUCAS VS. JOLIE JUSTUS?!?!?
This afternoon a Downtown Kansas City Super-TIF went down in flames as the biz elite seem scared that they might hand Quinton Lucas the election with the wrong decision.
KC Biz Journal: Kansas City TIF commission delays decision on luxury hotel
After hours of discussion Wednesday, Kansas City’s Tax Increment Financing Commission put off a vote on incentives for a proposed luxury hotel development to be located near the Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
Developers Whitney Kerr Sr. of Cushman & Wakefield and Eric Holtze of EJ Holtze Corp. want to build a $63 million project that they claim would be Kansas City’s first five-star-quality hotel. The two said that the hotel, to be located near Wyandotte and 16th streets, cannot be built without incentives, given the high quality of finish required.
Discussion about the project lasted more than three hours as developers advocated for a 75 percent property tax abatement for 23 years on the property, among other public financing assistance. The developers say the incentives would benefit the city because taxing jurisdictions currently receive no taxes from the property . . .
Ultimately, the City Council will vote on the $63 million hotel project next month.
Update with more deets:
KSHB: KC TIF committee debates luxury hotel developer's request for new downtown Hyatt
Meanwhile . . .
KC TIF Watch is ramping up efforts to cap this kind of developer subsidy.
And then . . .
This morning a sponsored content blog offered a presser threat noting that “Committee for Kansas City Jobs” wants to raise $500,000 to oppose the measure that would limit the amount of property tax abatements available to assist developers at 50 percent of what’s allowed by state law.
And all of this prelude leads us to the question for our blog community . . .
WILL JOLIE JUSTUS OR QUINTON LUCAS CURTAIL DOWNTOWN KANSAS CITY CORPORATE WELFARE?!?!?
The consensus among most voters is that Quinton Lucas is more likely to oppose some of the more shocking Super-TIF scams. But close City Hall watchers remember that he talks a great game but usually folds or holds out for a few piecemeal affordable housing crumbs to hand to his constituents. On the other hand, Jolie Justus seems to follow Mayor Sly's pro-development path and looks to continue most of his policies.
More importantly . . .
This isn't an "affordable housing" debate but a longstanding argument over taxpayer subsidy that Kansas City residents have been engaged in for nearly two decades. In fact, taxpayers were so frustrated with the TIF legacy of Kay Barnes that they elected fiscal hawk Mark Funkhouser to turn back the clock. Sadly that plan didn't work thanks to his wife's feet.
Now . . . The war over Downtown good times funded by TIF threatens another local mayoral election.
You decide . . .