A second hearing on a policy measure for economic development incentives produced no vote Wednesday, but modifications to the original ordinance have surfaced.
The Kansas City Planning, Zoning & Economic Development Committee presented a new version of an incentive reform ordinance that removed several exceptions to a proposed policy that, in general, sets a 75 percent cap on property tax abatements and redirections that accompany incentive tools.
Gone from the original ordinance are exceptions for environmentally friendly buildings, historic preservation projects and developments in council districts where at least half of the households make less than 80 percent of the city’s median household income.
Remaining as exceptions in the new version are projects in long-distressed census tracts and developments that qualify as “high impact” projects, according to a scoring matrix under the city’s AdvanceKC program. High-impact projects are those that involve significant investment, job numbers and salaries.
The removal of exemptions appeared to be a nod to taxing jurisdictions like the Kansas City Public Library, which had lobbied the week before to take out all exemptions.
Still, consensus wasn’t apparent during Wednesday’s meeting.
Kansas City Public Library and Kansas City Public Schools officials still said they had concerns about the new version. Bob Langenkamp, CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Kansas City, suggested that the ordinance include a departure from the 75 percent caps if a project is in direct competition from other cities or states.
Limitations to the inducements that the Port Authority of Kansas City are also gone from the revised ordinance. There was doubt about how a city ordinance could limit the actions of a body like Port KC, which is a state agency.