Here’s an interesting link from the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City about that city’s two-tiered test for tax increment financing for developers.
The curiosity grows out of the growing discord between City Hall and the Sedgwick County Courthouse over how far government should go to utilize all of the tools in its chest to incentivize development, in this case downtown.
It’s a given, I think, that redeveloping Wichita’s downtown – be it office buildings or the arena neighborhood – needs to be a public-private partnership. We’ve spent decades watching nothing happen downtown without it, and the success of Old Town speaks to the potential that tax increment financing brings to our city.
However, it’s also clear that the process needs to be tweaked for the highest level of confidence – and return – among elected officials and the public. Does the creation of a commission and a cost-benefit analysis accomplish that?