Tax incentive critics emboldened after collapse of BNIM office project

After last week’s collapse of the BNIM office project in Kansas City, which sought property tax abatement to redevelop a building in the Crossroads Arts District, critics of public redevelopment subsidies are feeling emboldened, calling the failure a wake-up call.

In December, the Kansas City Tax Increment Financing Commission voted to approve the BNIM development plan, despite opposition to the proposal. Now, abatement critics, including school, library and county taxing jurisdictions, are displaying strong disagreement to other redevelopment projects for the Crossroads, downtown, Crown Center and Country Club Plaza that are asking for tax exemptions and abatement.

Challengers argue that those neighborhoods are vibrant enough that they do not need development incentives. Others say they want public subsidies channeled to redevelopment east of Troost. Still others oppose plans because of the heft of the incentives.

Roxsen Koch, a development attorney who represents multiple real estate projects, says he is worried about the ripple effect from BNIM’s abandonment decision, warning that Kansas City could “lose important development” to other cities in the region.

Read more: Kansas City Star

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