Mayor Sly James made several economic development-related announcements today, furthering his vision to improve the local economy in a strategic and responsible manner.
First, he announced the introduction of an ordinance regarding a proposed new policy on Payments in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT). This proposed policy would create a standard PILOT amount to all jurisdictions levying property taxes on all economic development tools, including TIF, within particular development areas. While this policy would create a “new normal” of a 50% abatement, it would also preserve the Council’s flexibility for high impact projects under the Advance KC scorecard and in times of competition with cities that have not adopted similar policies on PILOTs.
Furthermore, the Mayor announced that the City will gain efficiencies by moving administrative accounting functions of the Tax Increment Financing Commission (TIF) to City Hall from the Economic Development Corporation (EDC). This move will enable the EDC staff to focus solely on business development growth and retention, which was a focus of the Advance KC strategic planning process. The transition will be substantially complete by the first of the year.
“We have made progress on many economic development fronts and these two policy changes are natural next steps,” said Mayor James. “Now is the time to start a conversation about the appropriate level of incentives we need to grant, especially considering the impact of declining property values felt by all taxing jurisdictions during the recent economic downturn. Additionally, positioning the EDC to focus solely on bringing more jobs to our neighborhoods is a logical move that makes good business sense.”
“At our regularly scheduled board meeting last Friday, the EDC board of directors voted unanimously to request the City of Kansas City, Missouri to accept the transfer of the administrative accounting duties for the work of the Tax Increment Finance Commission,” said Bridgette Williams, EDC chairwoman. “The EDC board is pleased to see Mayor James continue to support actions that serve to align the operations of the EDC with AdvanceKC recommendations as we strongly support its initiative to reduce the organization’s administrative duties and increase direct economic development activity. Additionally, our goal has and will continue to be to meet the expectation of the citizens of this City, in appropriately determining what projects warrant tax redirection or abatement, which is being accomplished with the new project review process rolled out earlier this year.”
The Mayor also made two appointments to the TIF Commission:
Mayor Pro Tem Cindy Circo – serves as the 5th District at-Large representative and appointed as Mayor Pro Tem by Mayor James in 2011. She has seven years of experience in planning and zoning, municipal finance, and urban housing and neighborhood development. She has a Liberal Arts degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City.
Troy Nash, Vice President, Principal at Newmark Grubb Zimmer – served on the City Council from 1999 until 2007. Nash holds a bachelors degree in economics, a masters degrees in economics and political science, as well as a JD/MBA from the University of Missouri – Kansas City Bloch School of Management and the School of Law. He will complete a doctorate in education in 2014 from St. Louis University.
Additionally, Mayor James made four new appointments and one reappointment to the Planned Industrial Expansion Authority (PIEA):
Missy Rockers (new appointment), Area Market Manager, Community America Credit Union – also served as Pricing Manager and Manager of Pricing Strategy at
YRC Worldwide, Inc. She earned both her bachelors and masters degrees in Business Administration from the University of Kansas City – Missouri.
Amy Bretall (new appointment), President, Arbor Grove, LLC. - previously served as the Senior Vice President, Human Resources Manager at Arvest Bank. Bretall earned her bachelors degree in business, emphasis in human resources management, at Missouri State University and went on to receive her masters in human resources management from Webster University.
Vic Terranella (new appointment), President, Teamsters Local 41 – previously served as the union’s Organizer and Business Agent. Prior to working at Teamsters Local 41, Terranella worked at Roadway Express.
Jay Wilson (new appointment), Director of Major Gifts, University of Missouri – Kansas City School of Medicine – Wilson previously held the position of the Development Director at Park University. Wilson serves on the board for the North Kansas City School District. He earned his bachelors degree in political science at the University of Central Missouri and his masters in public administration in public policy from Park University.
Demona Manlove-Owens (reappointment), Former business Manager, Construction and Project Manager – Manlove-Owens began her career working as a paralegal for several top law firms within Kansas City. She earned her bachelors degree from Park College in Administration of Justice and Management and has contributed to projects such as the Arrowhead Stadium, Sprint Center, H&R Block.
“I appreciate the time and energy these new appointees are giving to our City. They all have expertise and perspective that will serve our community well,” said Mayor Sly James. “Local boards and commissions are an important component to public service and I’m grateful to those who are wrapping up their time on both entities for their leadership, particularly Ron Yaffe, TIF Commission Chair and Jake Schopp, PIEA Chair.”