News from City Hall
City Council Office
City of Kansas City, Mo.
CONTACT: Councilman John Sharp, 6th District, (816) 513-1615
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Jan. 28, 2010
City Council to grant TIF Commissioners full voting rights
The City Council of Kansas City, Mo., unanimously voted today to codify its intention expressed last week to grant full voting rights to all members of the City’s Tax Increment Financing Commission. The ordinance to enact this change will now allow non-City appointees on the TIF Commission the right to vote on issues pertaining to the administration and operation of the commission itself. Non-City members of the TIF Commission, who are appointed by the county, school and library districts, have always had voting rights on the designation of redevelopment districts and projects within their respective jurisdictions. However, until now, they had no authority or responsibility for the administration of the commission.
“Since it is their tax dollars, as well as ours that fund the commission, it is only fair that all members of the TIF Commission have an equal voice in deciding how business at the commission is conducted, including administrative matters, as long as it is run in accordance to state statutes and City ordinances regulating TIF,” said Councilman John Sharp, 6th District. “Of course, all members have always had an equal voice in the projects that are recommended or not recommended to the City Council for final approval, so nothing will change in that regard.”
In reference to a recent lawsuit filed by Jackson County regarding this issue, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Skaggs said, “There is really no reason for a lawsuit on this because we already agree with the Plaintiff that all members of the TIF Commission should have an equal say in how the TIF Commission is administered,” Skaggs said. “As far as we are concerned, it is a moot issue and we hope that the county officials will find it is in the best interest of taxpayers to withdraw their lawsuit.”
“Actually, most of us on the council have been in agreement on this issue since the county first raised the question last summer. Today, we are simply codifying our decision,” Sharp said. “This should resolve the dispute, with no need for a lawsuit or angry words between governmental subdivisions that are all fighting for tax dollars to deliver basic services. Taxpayers expect us to be working together, not fighting each other in court and that’s what this City Council is trying to do today - work together,” Sharp said.