SHAWNEE, Kan. — The City of Shawnee could soon create a new special tax district to support future infrastructure upgrades. 

Next month the city council will host a public hearing to consider creating a tax increment financing (TIF) district on roughly 1,648 acres in the western portion of the city.

Typically TIF districts allow developers to lock in a base property tax rate for a 20-year period within a select property boundary. As the property is improved any additional tax revenue that would have been generated by the higher property value is then used to reimburse the developer. 

Unlike TIF districts requested by developers, the city will consider creating a conservation TIF district. The state defines conservation districts as areas in which at least 50% of buildings are more than 35 years old, that are not yet blighted, but could become blighted due to inadequate infrastructure, dilapidation or the deterioration of surrounding structures. 

The proposed Hickok-Zarah Development Area would cover about two-and-a-half square miles. If approved, the TIF district would stretch from K-7 to Martindale Road and from Shawnee Mission Parkway to 83rd Street. 

Proposed Hickok-Zarah Development Area TIF map

Once created, the Hickok-Zarah Development Area TIF District would be able to house one or more TIF projects proposed by either the city or a developer. All project plans within the TIF district would require additional approval from the city council before construction could begin.

Revenue generated by the TIF district would be earmarked for infrastructure improvements including: 

• Intersection separation at 75th and K-7

• Curb and gutter improvements to current ditch section streets

• A regional stormwater management amenity 

• Improvements to Woodland Drive north of 83rd Street 

• Internal streets to support residential development

• Infrastructure necessary to support small-scale neighborhood retail development.

• Neighborhood connections to regional parks and trails, including the proposed Martindale Trail Connection into Shawnee Mission Park.

For current property owners within the proposed boundary area, the creation of a TIF district would not put limitations on their ability to manage or sell their land. 

The creation of a TIF district will not impose new taxes on homeowners within the district boundary. However, if new development does occur within the district, property values may increase. 

The city council will host a public hearing to consider the creation of the new TIF district on Monday, Nov. 14 at 6p.m. 

If the council adopts the district ordinance, the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners and the De Soto school board will have a 30-day period to veto creation of the district. If the board chose not to veto the proposal, the TIF district would be established in mid-December.