For immediate release
January 17, 2007
For Further Information
Mary Lindsay, 816-885-9996
Grassroots Nonprofit Releases Economic Study of TIF in Kansas City
Finding a Patchwork of Projects Which Leave Poor Areas Threadbare
The Kansas City chapter of ReclaimDemocracy.org will hold a press conference on Wednesday, January 17 at 1-1:30 PM, at UMKC's University Center-Alumni Room, 50th and Rockhill Road 2nd floor to release "Uneven Patchwork: Tax Increment Financing in Kansas City," an academic study authored by UMKC Economist Michael Kelsay, Ph.D. The study examines the Kansas City Council's pattern of approval of Tax Increment Financing (TIF) plans by Council District. There will be a blow-up map of Kansas City to illustrate the distribution of TIF plans with demographic information by Council District.
The study questions the fiscal impact on the city of the dramatic growth of Economic Activity Taxes (sales taxes, utility taxes, earnings taxes and profit taxes) and the methodology used to determine whether TIF is appropriate for many projects. It also shows a pattern of awarding TIF projects to the city's most economically advantaged areas and bypassing those most in need of economic development.
Mary Lindsay, spokesperson for Reclaim Democracy-Kansas City, stated "The findings of this study bring into question decisions of City Hall, where for years the awarding of economic incentives have been directed away from the communities in the city that need them the most. The city's lack of an economic development plan to guide the TIF Commission puts developers in the drivers seat."
The Kansas City chapter of Reclaim Democracy hopes this study will inform the discussion in the upcoming City elections. To that end, Reclaim Democracy is cosponsoring a mayoral forum that will take place January 23, 2007, at UMKC's Grant Hall from 6-8 PM.
The study will be available at the Kansas City section of www.ReclaimDemocracy.org after the press conference.
ReclaimDemocracy.org is dedicated to restoring citizen authority over corporations, reviving grassroots democracy, and establishing appropriate limits to the realm of corporate influence. ReclaimDemocracy.org is a (501c3) nonprofit organization.