KC Chamber Opposes Question 1 on June Ballot

The Board of Directors of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce has unanimously voted to oppose Question 1 on Kansas City, Missouri’s June 18 ballot. Question 1 would impose an arbitrary 50 percent cap on the city’s ad valorem tax incentive offerings for economic development.

First, some history: the KC business community worked with KCMO City Councilman Quinton Lucas and the taxing jurisdictions on the current 75 percent cap two years ago. All agreed to let the new policy work before pursuing a ballot ordinance with a more restrictive cap.

We are just beginning to see the positive effects on development deals using the 75 percent cap.

Other reasons for the KC Chamber’s opposition:

  • Question 1 provides no flexibility for underserved and under-resourced areas. For example, we are about to see important projects at places like 63rd and Prospect and a new downtown high rise office building. A 50 percent cap would stop both deals.
  • Question 1 provides no exceptions for job creation.
  • Question 1 leaves KCMO at a significant disadvantage, considering the ten cities within the region with whom the city competes have no such incentive cap.
  • Question 1 sends a message to the rest of the country that KCMO is closed for business.

Also of note: the Chamber’s KC BizPAC committee just completed interviews with all the mayoral and council candidates, and each of them opposed Question 1.

The Chamber’s resolution in full:

“The KC Chamber opposes Question 1 on the June 18 ballot to establish Ordinance No. 180928 which would establish a 50 percent cap on ad valorem property taxes that may be utilized in furtherance of certain economic development projects in Kansas City, MO, and instead encourages a collaborative and thoughtful effort to develop a well-informed framework to guide an effective tax incentive plan for the city that will allow it to remain competitive and develop special incentive opportunities for development in under-resourced neighborhoods.”