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Community Improvement District fails to gain approval in Wichita City Council

March 01, 2011 J

WICHITA, KAN. – The Kansas chapter of the grassroots group Americans for Prosperity says Wichita residents were the winners today when the Wichita City Council failed to approve a Community Improvement District (CID) in the Eastgate shopping center.

The CID failed to gain approval from the majority of Wichita City Council members, effectively defeating the measure.

Citizen activist and Wichita resident John Todd testified before the city council prior to Tuesday’s vote.

“On the surface, giving a developer $18.5 million in sales tax revenue to rejuvenate this shopping area may seem like a worthy cause, but we must consider the people we would be asking to pay for it,” he said.

Todd pointed out that granting the CID would benefit just one developer, but he said stopping the proposal would mean an additional $18.5 million in purchasing power for thousands of Wichita consumers who could then spend, save, or invest that money as they choose.

AFP-Kansas field director and Wichita resident Susan Estes also testified against the project. She said the proposed CID did not adhere to the city’s policy on such districts.

“Today we stopped the over-use of one of our city’s many supposed economic development tools, and I would consider that a victory,” Estes said. “The area targeted by this CID was already a thriving shopping area, and whether an additional sales tax would do more help than harm is certainly questionable. Overall, I’m pleased to see this proposal to raise taxes on Wichitans has failed.”

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