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Government

Kansas City Council Questions Community Improvement Districts

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Video frame courtesy of KCCG, Channel 2.
Councilman Ed Ford assails the mayor about recent appointments to economic development commissions.

The Kansas City Council has been talking about tightening up on community improvement districts since this summer, but the talk goes on with no decision on what the policy will be.

The idea of a community improvement district is simple. Property owners get permission from the council to raise the sales tax in their area and keep the proceeds for – improvements – often things like upgrading parking lots, landscaping and sidewalks.

Some council members note some shortcomings in CIDs. They raise taxes and limit the city's ability to raise sales taxes if needed. Also, some improvement districts just have a single property owner. Councilman Ed Ford worries about the districts.

“Let's say we have a neighborhood-based CID and we have no time limit on it – and it does absolutely nothing that it said it was going to do?” asked Ford.

Ford's committee heard from developers and neighborhood leaders – who don't like a plan to restrict how CID money could be spent and put expiration dates on the districts.

A vote was postponed. There'll be more public comments next week.

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