Thursday, May 19, 2011

Bannister Mall Site Gets Tax Break

Well the amateur developers--oh, the City Council--have decided that Lane 4's plan for the area formerly the Bannister Mall is an acceptable plan and have voted to give a super TIF of around $200 million to the developer. The area will be developed in office space and retail at an estimated cost of $590 million.

It seems like the method of choice in this town to pass things of questionable merit is to first introduce the issue in a low key under publicized kind of way, then not talk about it for a while, then suddenly take it up again, and then vote on it before anyone really takes in the degree of flimflam going on. They followed the exact same pattern with the MAST/KCFD merger issue--I should have recognized it.

There are multiple problems with this plan in my view: Too big a tax break, wrong development type, both the reality and perception of a crime problem in the area, poor overall economy. Like one TKC commenter said, if the private sector isn't a believer without the government handout, er, help, maybe this is not such a good idea?

I would prefer that the City Council and Mayor spend more time and treasure looking after basic services instead of playing amateur developers. KCPD needs a new chief, KCFD EMS is a mess, water pipes break and streets crumble...oh, but that isn't as much fun as ground breakings and ribbon cuttings now is it?


Anonymous said...

This is so incredibly WRONG and the City Council should be ashamed of itself.
We have absolutely free market in Kansas City. We have total corporate welfare as NO projects are being built without some incentive thrown at the developers.
I'm so thoroughly disgusted I'm about to pack my bags!!!

Bob G. said...

SOunds like YOUR city bosses and OUR city bosses all went to the same "bosses" school...
(didn't know they even had one, and I wonder if the taxpayers paid for THAT, too?)

Great post.

Stay safe out there.

The Observer said...

The TIF is actually around $200 million--the cost of the project is estimated at $590 million.

Numbers that big just seem to swim around like so many minnows.

The location is a prime one. The right thing to do? Work on cleaning up the area crimewise, pray that the economy stabilizes and wait for the private sector.

Bob G, you crack me up. Maybe us mid size cities just attract these political grifters and hangers on? Small time fish, wanting to play Daley and LaGuardia, but no where as strong or competent as those men--but equally self aggrandizing and greedy.

A bad combo.
The Observer