It’s the opening line of every mayoral forum between Mayor Carlos Mayans and Carl Brewer, and it sounds something like this: “we need to diversify the economy, train our workforce and keep young people from leaving Wichita.”
It’s certainly a key issue. But how does government pave the way for something that hinges so much on the private sector? The candidates have a similar line there, too — keep doing what we’re doing. Continue to take on some risk for the businesses by issuing bonds to pay for expansions and give tax breaks — even though recent studies at Wichita State University show tax exemptions (state and local) have shifted tax burden from business and other special interests to homeowners and consumers. (Check out that study in a PDF file) Then, candidates say, cut down on regulations — though no one is saying which regulations.
Need more? Check out how candidates responded to the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce questions.