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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 14, 2007

City continues process of developing economic development policy

The City of Kansas City, Mo., is soliciting proposals for assistance in developing a formal economic development/incentive policy. The City began this process in May 2006 in anticipation that the city charter would pass in August 2006 with changes mandating that economic development and debt policies be established.

"This policy is one I've wanted in place for quite some time," Mayor Mark Funkhouser said. "But as we move forward, we need to take time to listen to folks and make sure that this will be a policy that's good for all of Kansas City."

A request for proposals for policy development and implementation strategy was issued April 30 and it is posted on the City's Web site (www.kcmo.org). Proposals will be accepted until May 31.

"This policy will help the City be more strategic in its use of our economic incentives. It will also ensure sustainability so that the City can continue to provide many valuable services to its residents," City Manager Wayne A. Cauthen said.

City staff and a consultant team recently completed an assessment of the City's economic development practices. The assessment included specific focus on the City's use of tax incentives, and the selected firm will use that assessment as a starting point.

City staff presented the initial findings of the consultants Jan. 24 to the City Council. They will make a second presentation to the City Council during the May 17 business session. The presentation will be broadcast live on KCCG-TV2 (the City government channel) and it also can be viewed live at www.kcmo.org/kccg. The consultant team's first presentation and a copy of their report can be found at www.kcmo.org/finance.nsf/web/edpolicy.

The City encourages feedback and input from all community stakeholders. Residents may e-mail their comments to edpolicy@kcmo.org. Additionally, there will be an opportunity for public participation before the City Council adopts a formal policy on economic incentives.

Media inquiries and other requests for more information about this issue should be directed to Dan Bagunu, manager of the Development Finance Division of the Finance Department, (816) 513-1033.

    
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