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Council Set To Consider Extending Kansas City Star Tax Abatement

Wikipedia Commons/K.C. Star

The Kansas City Council will vote next week on extending the tax abatement on the Kansas City Star's printing plant for another 15 years. 

A council committee endorsed the extension, though an advisory board did not.

The Chapter 353 Advisory Board said tough times in the newspaper industry notwithstanding, the Star received the 10-year tax abatement in the spirit of the law involved:  to end blight at 15th and Oak streets. 

With the building in place, the board said, the blight is now gone and the newspaper is not entitled to any more tax relief.

But the council's economic development committee questioned whether a million-dollar-a-year tax increase would force the Star to move out, risking the blight's return.

"We have a right to want blight permanently removed, not temporarily removed," Councilman John Sharp said.

The committee unanimously voted to approve the extension.  It would allow the Star to continue paying $337,000 a year in property tax. 

Most of that goes to Jackson County and Kansas City Public Schools, neither of which opposed continuing the tax break.

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