Developing the Core
Kansas City’s mayor, Mark Funkhouser, is likely to appoint a new task force to help develop the urban core, the Kansas City Star reports. A number of ideas have already been tossed around, including:
- Create a private investment funding source, with the help of financiers and foundations, to assist small businesses with loans or in other ways.
- Provide college or vocational opportunities for needy high school students.
- Create work force training centers in distressed areas.
- Improve transportation and child care offerings to assist people in getting to work.
- Provide specific incentives to employers who hire people living in distressed communities.
Kansas City could follow a simple recipe for growth: low taxes, lax regulations, and strong property rights. Implementing this isn’t necessarily easy, however. To start, the city could repeal the earnings tax, because it provides strong incentives for productive people and businesses to locate elsewhere. A sales tax or a tax on the value of land could raise the same amount of revenue without having as much of a negative effect on growth. A general rule of thumb would be to avoid TIFs, tax abatements, tax credits, and other special tax exemptions. Consumers and businesses will take notice and move in … perhaps with the help of our handy tax estimator.