KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Next Tuesday, Kansas City will vote in a new mayor. But they’ll also vote on something that could change the course of development in the city.
Currently, tax incentives for developers are capped at 75%. Question One on the ballot proposes capping tax abatements, or write offs, at 50%.
Supporters say it’s a way to cut down on the tax money that flows from projects back to developers to get them done. Developers don’t like the idea. They say some projects need more than 50% help — like distressed areas or places that haven’t seen a lot of growth.
“Developers are pretty frustrated. They don’t like this idea,” Kansas City Star columnist and FOX4 contributor Dave Helling said. “They think that some projects need more than 50% help, particularly in distressed areas, the East side of Kansas City, parts of the city that haven’t seen a lot of development.
“At the same time, supporters of this say look at downtown. They don’t want to give incentives to a luxury hotel. And is that really where we want to be spending our money and spending our time to build luxury hotel rooms instead of helping neighborhoods where they need help.”
More than 2,000 people signed a petition to get this on the ballot for next week’s special election.