tax abatement | KCUR

tax abatement

Kyle Palmer / KCUR 89.3

Port KC is one of Kansas City’s most powerful economic development agencies, often handing out lucrative tax breaks, but some critics say it has too much clout and reforms are needed to give elected leaders more oversight.

Segment 1: Port KC wields power beyond the banks of the Missouri River.

The goal of Port KC, is to drive economic development in Kansas City, Missouri, but many are questioning the agency's ability to act without answering to municipal voters or elected officials. Today, the organization's chief lends his perspective to the conversation, and defends their conduct when it comes to awarding tax incentives and taking on projects that are miles from the Port of Kansas City.

Segment 1: A "dark store theory" update

The Kansas Board of Tax Appeals handed Johnson County a defeat last month when they ruled the county has overcharged some Walmart stores millions of dollars in property taxes. The decision is based on something called the "dark store theory," and it could put homeowners on the hook for making up the county's lost revenue.

Andrew Kline / For KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Appeals by big-box retailers to have property assessed as though it is vacant could mean big revenue loss for local governments.

Barbara Shelly / KCUR

A consultant to the Hickman Mills School District said Tuesday night that four of nine elementary schools might need to close as part of efforts to cope with a $5.5 million budget shortfall.

Those school closings were among the long-term cost-saving measures outlined by the consulting firm.

Portia Bates, with MGT Consulting Group of Tallahassee, told a packed auditorium that all but two elementary schools are underused, and many are in poor condition. Her firm has proposed closing Truman, Symington, Dobbs and Johnson elementary buildings.

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Municipal leaders discuss the local issues their communities are grappling with, and the current events in Kansas City they're keeping an eye on.

In metro regions like Kansas City, suburban communities often find themselves dealing with the same issues at the same time as their neighbors. Today, we'll get perspectives on how two area municipalities are approaching issues like tax abatements and land use, and why they are monitoring airport and crime developments in Kansas City, Missouri.

File photo by Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

A petition asking Kansas City voters to limit property tax abatements has been certified by the City Clerk’s office and had a first read before the City Council on Thursday, the Kansas City Business Journal reports.

The clerk's office certified 2,321 valid signatures on a petition sponsored by the Coalition for Kansas City Economic Development Reform. That well exceeds the 1,708 signatures required to force a vote.

3D Development

A $95 million redevelopment plan for the former Kansas City Star property that includes renovating the historic structure and building a boutique grocery store and marketplace above a 500-space underground garage has cleared its first hurdles at City Hall.

The full Kansas City Council on Thursday approved an ambitious plan from developer Vincent Bryant, who told a council committee Wednesday morning that he wanted to make the former Star campus the economic center of the Crossroads area.

Pedersen Development

A Colorado developer is planning a $37 million Hyatt House Hotel on a vacant lot at Ninth and Broadway, and in a major departure, the project would be built without parking.

Scott Pedersen of Boulder-based Pedersen Development said guests staying at the proposed 13-story, 153-room hotel would be served with valet parking.

The reason?

“Kansas City parking garage utilization runs at 56 percent occupancy at noon and drops to 26 percent at 5 p.m. Overnight, it’s 13 percent,” Pedersen said.

Burns and McDonnell

Copaken Brooks is proposing a 14-story apartment tower on the southwest corner of 18th and Walnut, a striking addition to the skyline that would replace a crumbling Crossroads parking lot with 132 residences.

The $40- to $50 million project would be the second residential tower developed by the firm in the Crossroads Arts District. The other is the 12-story ARTerra project going up at 2100 Wyandotte.

It’s also a half-block north of the firm’s Corrigan Station office development at 19th and Walnut.

Kevin Collison / KCUR 89.3

The developer of the One Light and Two Light luxury high rises in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, will get tax breaks to build a third luxury apartment tower, Three Light, at 14th and Main streets.

On Thursday, the Kansas City Council in an 8 to 4 vote authorized a 100 percent tax abatement for 23 years to Cordish. 

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR 89.3

Another member of the Kansas City Council has entered the crowded race for mayor in 2019. 

Councilwoman Alissia Canady, who represents the city’s 5th district, announced her mayoral bid in front of family and religious leaders Tuesday morning at Ilus Davis Park, just north of Kansas City, Missouri, city hall.  

Canady said she looks up to Ilus Davis, who was Kansas City mayor from 1963 to 1971.

“Mayor Davis … used his position both as mayor and lawyer to uplift Kansas Citians with diverse backgrounds, so I’m not alone in this undertaking,” Canady said.

Brent Flanders / Flickr--CC

Kansas lawmakers, increasingly skeptical that tax breaks deliver economic wins, looked closely this week at economic incentive programs.

Senators on the Commerce Committee spent several days discussing bills that would add new requirements to sales tax revenue bonds, known as STAR bonds.

STAR bonds allow local governments to borrow money for a building project, and tax collections created by the development are diverted to pay off the loans.

Sunflower Development Group

An old Kansas City Public Schools building that’s been sitting empty since 2010 will be soon be repurposed into affordable housing for seniors.

Sunflower Development Group broke ground Monday on the Blenheim school site at Gregory and Prospect. Director of Development Mark Moberly says old schools can easily be converted into residential housing because they’re already subdivided into classrooms. Sunflower has already completed one KCPS renovation, the Faxon School Apartments.

Courtesy Block Real Estate Services

Construction on the first multi-tenant office tower to go up in the Country Club Plaza in more than a decade is expected to begin this summer following approval of final incentives.

The 14-story 46 Penn Centre project is planned for 46th Terrace and Pennsylvania Avenue just north of the Seventh Church of Christ, Scientist by Block Real Estate Services.

Foutch Brothers, LLC

An ambitious $30 million plan to convert the Kemper Arena into a bustling center for amateur athletics won support for tax incentives Thursday from a public development agency.

The Planned Industrial Expansion Authority approved a 12-year property tax abatement for the redevelopment project of the arena in the West Bottoms being pursued by Foutch Brothers. The PIEA also authorized up to $24 million in revenue bonds for the project.

Kansas City, MO – Update: On Friday, the PIEA unanimously approved the 31 abatement requests from 18 applicants. Property owners will receive $1.6 million in abatements; in exchange, they'll make about $759,000 in improvements.
A Kansas City development agency today is expected to review applications for tax abatement for property owners in the Crossroads Arts District, an area hit hard this decade with rising property values and taxes. KCUR's Laura Spencer reports.