Close Universal Floodwater Detention TIF and return surplus funds to taxing jurisdictions.
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In 1990, the city of Kansas City, Missouri approved the Universal Floodwater Detention TIF. The plan included the redevelopment of an area of 202.24 acres bordered by Reynolds Avenue on the west, the south bank of the Missouri River on the north, Interstate 435 on the east, and Front Street on the south in Kansas City, Missouri.
The plan called for the development of 2,800,000-3,300,000 square feet of office and warehouse space and 32.5 acres of storm water detention facilities, together with all necessary appurtenances, utilities and street improvements.
Now, 27 years later, the project has concluded with a surplus of $9.8 million and Kansas City Manager Troy Shulte recently announced a plan to divert $4.8 million of this surplus that would otherwise go for schools ($4.2 million), libraries, community colleges, disability and mental health programs to pay for Kansas City infrastructure, including “recreational amenities.”
The Mayor and City Council need to reject the City Manager’s plan. On April 4, voters authorized the city to borrow and spend up to $800 million for public works projects over the next 20 years. This includes $600 million for streets, bridges and sidewalks. Under these circumstances City Officials should more thoughtfully balance the distinct needs of our schools and underfunded social service agencies against the large amount Kansas City already has for streets and sidewalks.
As our elected representatives, the City Council should act immediately, in the interest of our children and families and that is why we are asking them to close the Universal TIF now and return all funds payable to the taxing jurisdictions that include schools, libraries, community colleges, disability and mental health programs.
There are also surplus Universal TIF funds that are payable to the City. Rather than divert them to already well-funded street repairs, the revenues should be used to provide relief for seniors and families struggling with exorbitant water bills and to fund the Shared Success program to foster economic development in highly distressed census tracks on the east side.
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