Derailing the TIF Train

Last week, the Kansas City Public School District issued a press release condemning the roughly $100 million in incentives offered to corporate giant Waddell and Reed to move their headquarters to new digs downtown.

This Dog has long railed against the amount of tax incentives given away at City Hall and this time is no different.

It’s time for some hardball discussions on the damage being done to local school districts and libraries because some corporate fat cat wants money to build a chrome and glass tower somewhere downtown.

The Waddell and Reed proposal was tabled to allow the parties involved to further discuss an amicable compromise but the Dog isn’t optimistic about the potential outcome given the way Cerner and the Jackson County Board of Equalization stripped the Hickman Mills School District of roughly $2.5 million in funding due to a tax mix up back in 2018.

Most of the present council candidates, along with newly-elected Mayor Quinton Lucas, ran on a platform of tax incentive reform that would limit the cash grab by developers.

Yet here we are, looking at another package of incentives for developers at the expense of education and libraries.

Here’s a note to the mayor and council: Your constituents are watching. Some of us more carefully than others.

How the Waddell and Reed incentive issue will be resolved will have a direct correlation on what voters do during the next municipal election cycle.

If you campaigned on a platform of tax incentive reform, you need to be mindful of how your vote impacts public education.

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