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Fidelity Security Life Insurance Request for Incentives Testimony: Kansas City Public Schools

Below is the written transcript for Kansas City Public Schools.

Hi Kathleen Pointer Kansas City Public Schools.

Sorry not to be joining you in Chambers today. I have not been feeling well and I will try to be quick but thank you for being more generous today with time, Counselman Barnes.

A company at 31st and Broadway wants to move a few blocks north. They want to move into a new building that they own. They want it to be fancy with an expensive design and finishes.

They want costly structured parking despite being along the streetcar extension and near ample surface and garage parking.

All of that's fine. Except they also want public schools, the public library, the public mental health provider and you, the city, to pay for it and too much for it.

For the financial analysis, stabilized yield on cost, the un-leveraged I.R.R. and the stabilized debt ratio all remained virtually unchanged between a 10-year and a 15-year property tax abatement.

They will tell you that this project is already below market at 15-years but being below the market rate of return isn't significant considering this building is to be owner-occupied over the long term. And we simply also shouldn't be giving any projects one more day of incentives than is necessary. I'll add to that if this company was moving from Kansas and into Missouri bringing with it tons of new jobs, they would be getting just 10 years.

As has been mentioned, the two major cost-drivers on this project are the design and parking. In a parking-neutral scenario, this development might not require any incentives.

The city has to start requiring developers to engage in a shared parking agreement. This project is located feet from a parking garage that is often empty during the workday. That garage is located on the seller's property, Crown Center, who has been getting decades of property tax abatement.

Every time we don't make a developer find a shared parking plan, we're asking Kansas City's kids to give up dollars that could be supporting their socio-emotional needs. It could be improving their school buildings and it could be adding educational resources to their classrooms.

I have one other distressing element I wanted to point out before I wrap-up, it's a bit technical, so please bear with me.

Since this project has been platted into three separate parcels to skirt the T.O.D. Overlay requirements. While it's been platted this way the acquisition price does not reflect that. In the financial analysis, the numbers reflect the costs as if the entire piece of land is one parcel.

We asked for an updated financial analysis with the acquisition price suggested but were unable to get it. It's likely the acquisition price being adjusted would also lower the need for public support below even the 10 years.

If the acquisition cost is being treated as one parcel in the financial analysis and the developer should also have to meet the T.O.D. Overlay requirements.

Developers should not be able to pick and choose which rules they decide to follow. It's unacceptable. We're tired of sounding like a broken record. But this ask is yet another example of a developer asking for whatever they want for more than they need and asking the public to pay for it. It has to stop. Thank you.

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