Sunday, August 14, 2011

CID Approval

This past Monday the city council approved a CID (Community Improvement District) for 10 Quivira Plaza.

My opinion still stands that this is a bad precedent to use this type of financing tool for a neighborhood shopping center.  The increased 1/2% sales tax will go to helping the ownership revitalize the center.  Others might now apply for the same type of financing which could result in shopping center specific tax increases of up to 2%.

In this case the ownership will be spending $2.8 million and the sales tax is being used to obtain an additional $1.4 million for the revitalization.  I applaud the ownership for their willingness to secure the $2.8 million.  That is the American way.  I criticize them for using the citizens of Shawnee (especially Ward 2) to finance the balance.

One of the arguments used by some on the council to support the tax increase was that if the ownership had to finance the improvements then they would raise the rents and the citizens would still be paying more.  Duhhhhh.................they are using $2.8 million of their own (or secured).  Won't they still raise rents?  Leaving the merchants to pass that on to the citizens?  Maybe not on stores that have existing leases, but what about at renewal time?  What about when the empty stores are filled?  Won't the revitalization be a selling tool for setting their rental rates higher?

Now, another argument for approving the CID was that by improving the shopping center it will be assessed at a higher value, bringing in more property tax dollars to the city. the ownership going to absorb those property tax increases?  Of course not.  Rents will still be set higher.

Then, when the ownership sells the center, for a profit which they are entitled to, the new ownership would have to also adjust rents............which means the merchants will still have to increase their prices.

So, what does that mean?  It means that the arguments that without the CID the rents would go up and prices also, are/were bogus arguments.  Prices are still going to go up. The sales tax increase will just be
on a higher retail price, ergo, a larger dollar amount.

Three of the five council reps who voted for this increase are up for reelection in 8 months (April 2012).

I strongly urge folks to work against their reelection.  Even if you are not in their ward, there is nothing to stop you from working against their reelection.

These are:

Mickey Sandifer.............ward 4...........talks about caring about senior citizens but I don't see that
Dawn Kuhn..........ward 3.............also was a strong supporter of the 5% franchise fee..........send her packing
Jim Neighbor..........ward 1............wasn't even elected......appointed to fill Cheryl Scott's remaining time............nice guy, but a review of the resum├ęs of the others who applied for the position was not, IMHO the best qualified.