As the headquarters for Applebee’s Neighborhood Grill and Bar restaurants moves from Kansas City to California, a question emerges.
What happened to millions of dollars in tax breaks that Applebee’s got from Missouri and Kansas City in 2011 to move from its taxpayer-subsidized headquarters in Lenexa, which had wooed Applebee’s from Overland Park in 2007?
Answer: Applebee’s has used up most of the state-supported incentives it was eligible for at its headquarters on Ward Parkway, because they were set to last for five years.
Essentially, Applebee’s got to keep millions in Missouri income taxes it would have paid to the state, as long as it maintained a certain-sized payroll at the Kansas City headquarters.
Put another way, because the state incentive was close to ending, Applebee’s would have been paying full state taxes in the next year or so.
But now that won’t happen — at least for a large number of employees — because the company is cutting its local base back significantly.
To move in 2011, Applebee’s also got a Kansas City-backed pledge of a sales and property tax abatement worth about $147,000 if the company bought personal property worth $1.5 million. On Friday, city officials said that any abatement granted would not be subject to a clawback.
This is yet another example of how corporate America abuses taxpayers in the world of giveaways.
Still, politicians and economic development officials know that the “victories” come when they hand out the subsidies, and the media write about all the promises made by the private sector to be good, steady corporate citizens.
Unfortunately, those promises don’t always get kept.