Enhanced Enterprise Zone Incentive Reform in Kansas City
The Enhanced Enterprise Zone, or "EEZ" as it is more commonly known, is a special incentive program to entice developers who are building in order to create NEW JOBS.
But, as KC TIF Watchers know, big corporate development attorneys, who get paid $600 an hour, think they have figured out how to use EEZ for residential (a.k.a. "Luxury") housing.
Thankfully our public schools, Community Mental Health Fund, Mid Continent Library, and Kansas City Public Library were able to alert KC TIF Watch and other Councilmembers and members of the Economic Development Corporation who agreed that residential projects violate the spirit of Missouri's EEZ law.
Sponsored by Councilwoman Andrea Bough, Ordinance number 211025 was introduced and
voted out of the Neighborhood, Planning and Development Committee meeting on December 1, 2021.
Below is the original presentation by EDC representative Dan Moye, testimony from the Community Mental Health Fund, Kansas City Public Schools District Advisory Committee and the discussion by committee which lead to a unanimous vote in favor of passing it on for a full vote by city council.
On December 9, 2021 a small amendment was introduced by Councilwoman Andrea Bough (the sponsor) to bring the terms of the EEZ more in alignment with the other incentive agencies. It basically limited the completion of projects to be within 3 years of the EEZ award.
The video below shows the full city council legislative discussion and vote (unanimously) in favor of passing the ordinance:
KC TIF Watchers rejoiced even though during the same meeting this council also passed a $9,000,000 corporate welfare tax incentive for Fidelity Security Life Insurance (FSL). That celebration has been short-lived, however, as we caught word that the aforementioned development attorney's making $600 an hour, decided that reasonable, legal limits on EEZ would hurt business - mainly their own - so they lobbied Councilman Dan Fowler to bring it back using a rarely executed charter rule.
Below is the video clip of Councilman Fowler introducing the ordinance back to the council at the very end of the legislative meeting on December 16, 2021.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.