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Dodge City Daily Globe - Dodge City, KS
  • Community Improvement District would include only one business

  • A public hearing will take place at the regular city commission meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 1 in the city commission chambers at City Hall.
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  • A public hearing will take place at the regular city commission meeting at 7 p.m. Oct. 1 in the city commission chambers at City Hall.
    The subject of the hearing will be a community improvement district plan which would impose an additional one percent sales tax on sales in the district, which under this proposal would include just one business: the new IHOP being built at 14th Ave. and Wyatt Earp Blvd.
    The special tax district was made possible by legislation passed in 2009.
    Only one other project in Dodge City has taken advantage of the opportunity: Santa Fe Plaza on east Wyatt Earp Blvd. That project has yet to break ground.
    "The majority landowner files a petition to request the tax, which can be up to 2 percent," Ken Strobel, city manager, said in a recent interview.
    In this case, the property's previous owner, Bill Cunningham, submitted the petition and the request is for a one percent additional tax.
    Strobel expects the new owners, who are building the IHOP, to submit a letter asking the city to continue the process despite the change of ownership.
    What's the benefit?
    Evan Fitts, attorney with Polsinelli and Shughart in Kansas City, represents a lot of property owners seeking to create community improvement districts across the state.
    "Our firm was involved in drafting the original bill in 2009 and we've helped lots of communities put them in place," Fitts said in a phone interview Monday.
    From FItts' perspective, the benefit to the landowner is clear: "It allows the landowner to put a tax in place and use the proceeds to offset some of their development costs for the project,"
    The CID functions as one incentive to help recruit national companies to new locations by taking some of the expense out of the development phase.
    The special fund created by the tax, which lasts 22 years, can only be accessed by the landowner.
    And the landowner may use the fund to pay for costs previously incurred, such as demolition which has already taken place.
    "Banks like the CID because it's set aside for specified purposes and it's easier to project. It's dollars that aren't going to disappear in the developer's pockets."
    What's the next step?
    The public hearing which will take place Oct. 1 is the next step.
    Most such hearings are fairly routine, according to Fitts.
    If the commission passes an ordinance to create the district, the Kansas Department of Revenue will collect the additional tax then return it to the city.
    The city will create a special fund for the revenue generated by the tax.
    And the property owner can request disbursements from the fund for a wide variety of purposes, including land acquisition, infrastructure and ongoing operating expenses.
    Page 2 of 2 - "The good thing about the community improvement district program, from the city's perspective, is that it doesn't impact real estate tax, the city's administrative costs are reimbursed and there's no risk to the city in the process," Strobel said.
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