Kansas City officials want an answer to a persistent question: What’s the city’s bang for the buck for all the development incentives it uses?
That answer has been elusive in the debate over Kansas City’s use of tax breaks and abatements in a metropolitan area where competition for economic development across city and state lines remains white hot.
While taxing jurisdictions like school districts and library districts have pointed to various figures for how their budgets have been affected by development incentives, city leaders have been hamstrung in responding about how the incentives benefit the city and its taxpayers.
On Tuesday, Mayor Sly James and six Kansas City Council members visited with a team of consultants led by the Council of Development Finance Agencies, based in Columbus, Ohio, to discuss how to evaluate the impact of the city’s use of development incentives.
The Kansas City Council is expected to vote this week on a contract worth up to $350,000 for CDFA and other consultants to review historic data about the city’s use of incentives and evaluate what the city gets in return. The city estimates that the project could use up to 1,900 hours of time, working out to $184 an hour if the full $350,000 from the contract is tapped.
Read more: Kansas City Star