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KC Council Terminates Jazz District TIF

photo: Laura Spencer/KCUR

By Laura Spencer


Kansas City, Mo. – The Kansas City Council voted Thursday to terminate the tax-increment financing (TIF) plan for the historic 18th and Vine district. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.

A development incentive called a TIF is usually in place for up to 23 years. But city officials say the TIF for the 18th and Vine district, approved in 1999, has run its course: residential units, and commercial space have been constructed.

The main issue: not enough sales tax revenue.

There's been high turnover and vacancy in the commercial spaces. And many of the properties in the district are either city-owned, tax-abated, or occupied by nonprofits.

Jermaine Reed, council member from Kansas City's third district, opposed terminating the TIF.

It's Reed's first term. During the business session before the full council meeting, he explained his lone dissenting vote: "I am frustrated by the fact that folks prior to us have not had the fortitude and sight to make sure that this (the TIF) actually worked well."

Reed, along with the majority of the council, co-sponsored a resolution asking City Manager Troy Schulte to collaborate with the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) of Kansas City and the Jazz District Redevelopment Corporation (JDRC) to map out the "next phase for redeveloping the district."

That resolution passed unanimously.

Kansas City is known for its style of jazz, influenced by the blues, as the home of Walt Disney’s first animation studio and the headquarters of Hallmark Cards. As one of KCUR’s arts reporters, I want people here to know a wide range of arts and culture stories from across the metropolitan area. I take listeners behind the scenes and introduce them to emerging artists and organizations, as well as keep up with established institutions. Send me an email at lauras@kcur.org or follow me on Twitter @lauraspencer.
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