Monday, December 15, 2008

Board to Consider Tax Abatements for Three Properties

Tuesday night the Raytown Board of Aldermen will hear a second reading on an agreement that will create tax abatements for three properties in the Downtown area. The three properties are located at: 6109-6111 Blue Ridge Boulevard, application made by Jeff and Diane Page. The property currently houses Bennetti’s Coffee. 6326 Raytown Place - application made by Gary Knabe. The property houses Knabe’s real estate office for Coldwell Banker, Hometown Realty, Inc. 9715 East 63rd Street - application made by Pam McKinley Clark and Quentin Clark. The property in question is Clark’s Appliance Store. Page is requesting an abatement totaling $190,000.00. Knabe’s request is for $56,117.00, and Clark’s is for $36,503.00. The reasoning behind the abatements is to encourage businesses to locate in Downtown Raytown. The city has declared the Downtown area economically blighted and created the Raytown Municipal Development Corporation to promote investment in the Downtown area. Tuesday’s night meeting is a continuation of a Public Hearing on whether or not to grant the tax abatements. The ordinance is sponsored by Mayor David Bower, Alderman Barb Schlapia and Alderman Marilyn Fleming. Here is how the tax abatement works. The applicants document the cost of improvements to their property. If the city agrees to the abatement - there will be no property taxes on the improved properties for either 15 years or until the cost of the improvements have been recovered by the property owners not paying the tax. But there are flaws to the process. First, all of the applications have been placed together in one ordinance -- as opposed to each application standing on its own merits. The agreements before the Board of Aldermen DO NOT require that the properties involved be occupied by businesses to receive the abatement. Two of the properties in question have been applied for the business owners that will occupy the location (Home Town Realty and Clark’s Appliance). The third application, made by Jeff Page, owns the property, but leases the space to a business. Been There, Done That . . . The City of Raytown has been down this road before. Schnucks Grocery Store received a 15 year tax abatement in the 1990’s. For nearly ten years of the abatement, after about four years of operation, Schnucks pulled the plug on the grocery store. The property was closed to the public but still received a tax abatement that has lasted for will over ten years. They Pay Less, So You Pay More . . . What most people are not aware of is that when a property has its tax abated, the taxing districts still receive the same amount of tax from the area in which the abatement is given. When a tax is abated in a municipality the difference of the abatement is made up by incremental increases spread over other property owners taxes. These "other" taxpayers include businesses and homeowners within the geographic area. In this case the area is Raytown. Proof of this reality can be found by comparing the annual figures of property tax collected by the city in past years. Even though many tax abatement schemes have been created in Raytown (GE at the 63rd Street Gateway, HyVee, Schnucks, etc.) the total dollar amount of property tax collected by the city has actually increased over the years. Clawbacks . . . It is understandable that a city may want to encourage businesses to locate in a blighted commercial area. Many a good argument can be made in favor of granting the abatements. But without any guarantee, or a "clawback" provision, which allows the city "turn off" the abatement if the property goes dark (out of business) the deal is not a good one. Raytown taxpayers deserve a guarantee the businesses given financial aid fulfill their end of the bargain. That end of the bargain is that a business entity will be in place where property taxes have been abated. Anything less is not in the taxpayer’s best interest.

39 comments:

Anonymous said...

Well isn't this about the dumbest thing I've ever seen! So of course the city council will pass it! Dumb b-$&@*$s

Anonymous said...

The property that is owned by the Pages is almost new with in a very few years. Why does they need to remodel that building now? The coffee is still in operation as far as I know. How they stay open I do not know because there is never anyone there why I go by. I understand that the other half of the building is vacant so why is it necessary to make improvements?

As for Knabe's building he asked once before this tax abatement and was turned down about 3 years ago. He has already made the improvements before they moved in to that location.

If I were going to give an abatement to anyone of those businesses it would be Clarks's they have been in that building for ever and have never done any improvements as far as I know. But having said that I still would not give them an abatement. If you own a business it is your responsibility to foot the bill for any improvements that are made.

At one point I had a business in Independence but I always thought it was my responsibility to pay for any changes I wanted to make to my building inside or out.

Just another reason for Raytown to raise the sales tax base. All of these tax abatements are going to have to be recovered somehow and sales tax is the most logical way to do it. So we pay more while the businesses reap the benefits. That s--k's. Isn't it time to get rid of this board and ask for a resignation or impeahcment of this mayor?

Andy Whiteman said...

We received one new business: Bennetti’s who remodled a blighted building and looks much better.

One business (Kanabe) relocated, remodeled and occupied a bligted building.

Clarks updated their building which is an improvement. It is quite possible that if there was no TIF involved, they wouldn't have updated.

I feel these are valid TIF's but a CLAWBACK is inorder on ALL TIFS. Any business can go out of business and the taxpayers are stuck with the bill. We were schnucker by Schuncks. I lived in KCMO at the time and remember they had labor issues.

A comment was made at the last meeting about a full time person being required to monitor if a business was still in business. That is BS! It is pretty obvious is a business is there or not. If they don't pay their sales taxes and property taxes, it is pretty obvious. Most of us who drive around will notice if a bvusiness is no longer in business.

I support these TIFs but agree with Greg that a CLAWBACK is inorder. A TIF should not be for only big business. The small, family business deserces support as well.

PS. I am wondering why the new Auto Detailers didn't request a TIF?

Andy Whiteman

Pat Casady said...

I am for anything that will help Raytown attract new and keep
small businesses in town. It shouldn't make any difference if
the property owner will use the property or rent it.
The clawback makes sense. Anyone that owns property should
have to pay their taxes. Property taxes are due once a year. If a
business goes out of business the abatement should stop. However,
If the owner can fill the space with a new tenant within a reasonable amount of time, (a year) then the abatement should go on.
We should all be grateful that these people want it invest in Raytown and Raytown should invest in them.
Let's face it. Our elected officials have given away tax abatements to out of town owned companies that could afford not to get them, so it's time
they took care of Raytown business people that can use the help.
For the last ten years this town has done very little to help home owned businesses, even ran a few out of town. So any change for the better is a welcomed change.

Andy Whiteman said...

I am in total agreement with Pat.

By the way, it was stated at the last BOA that homeowners could apply for an abatement but the requirements haven't been written yet. So, homeowners think about improving your property with an abatement.

Andy Whiteman

Chris Wilmes said...

The Raytown Vineyard Church is inviting the community to participate in creating a Thanksgiving note for Raytown. Please take 5 minutes and leave a comment at: http://thanksgiving4raytown.wordpress.com/about/

Notice NO ONE Posts anonymously when they are being positive!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Golly Chris. What about people who post honestly!!!

Anonymous said...

Chris, Thanksgiving is OVER, move on!!!

Anonymous said...

well sooner or later we can abate all business taxes, all homeowner taxes and start printing Raytown Bucks! Issue them to Bower, Fleming and Schlapia in lieu of city pay. They can then use them for coffee, real estate services and appliances. it will work just like the federal govt. print mo' money! How does anyone invest $190,000 in a coffee shop? it used to be that people went into business to make money not get tax abatements. but once you give walmart the farm then all the pigs want a little something in their troughs too. hope they accept those Raytown Bucks where Andy moves because his disability payments will be made in them also.

Anonymous said...

I could'nt have said it better Anonymous 4:34. I still cant get past Bennetti's needing $190,000 for a coffee shop. What next?

Anonymous said...

thank you 5:10 maybe we can pave our streets with Raytown Bucks on the Road to China...oops, I meant Wally World where we can visit our street funds by ice skating in the Wally World parking lot. surely we taxpayers can find others to sacrifice for? how about parking for Mayor Frank's business? maybe kansas city can get in on this new trend by issuing The Funk Junk Bonds which we can buy with Raytown Bucks. I could go on but then people would think I should be on the board of aldermen or the school board.

Anonymous said...

City council tonight shows us that Wal-Mart will cost us $330,000 next year per Greg's questioning. And the police and EMS want a sales tax increase in 2009. One word: RECESSION! Do you people really think anyone can afford another dime for city services we don't get? And the police detention personnel can't use pepper spray to quell a riot?

Anonymous said...

Greg thank you for voting against the TIFs tonight. They should be called in this case what they are: The CofCs...Chamber of Commerce. There are six aldermanic seats up in April. Anyone who votes for an incumbent, anyone who shops at Wal_Mart, anyone who votes for any kind of tax at all should be forced to wear a Scarlet Letter "I" for idiot and be forced to live here the rest of their lives. That includes you Mr. Andy. A town including the downtown can not be revitalized by giving away its tax base, punishing its citizens and by bypassing city services for self interest business interests.

Andy Whiteman said...

The official government Holiday of Thanksgiving is past, but every day there are things we can be thankful for. Thanksgiving is not limited to the day set forth by the government and extended into a 4 day weekend.

I never noticed that signed writers were always positive.

Others may not agree with me, but I feel that if Schnucks, Hy-Vee, and Walmart can get a BIG TIF, then the small business should also get a small TIF. Not to do so would be discrimination. To put it simply, why should big business get TIFs and not small business? Big business such as Walmart could build the store with their own money instead of taxpayers, but big business expects taxpayer support.

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

It does not matter if one uses their name on here or not, what matters is that it is obvious that some of us are concerned because their community is self destructing/deteriorating around them. The infrastructure is crumbling, streets are crumbling and full of holes, empty storefronts, empty houses, trash everywhere, minorities living 10-15 to a house, parking in the yards, rotweilers chained to the front porches, bright yellow house paint, south of the border music blaring. All that one has to do is drive around the city and see what it is like. Do you really think that someone really wants to move either their residence or business here? Not to mention the inept leadership at city hall and the chamber of commerce. They would rather make people jump through hoops than to be leniant with policies and regulations and help encourage economic growth. And stop with the TIF schemes! It does nothing but destroy the tax base.

Looking to get out while there is still a little time left.

Anonymous said...

I watched the David Bower show last night too. My favorite part was at the end when Board members began their fawning over how great the snow removal in Raytown is.

Couldn't tell it by driving on my street. I think I will go mark the chuckholes with orange barrels so the snow plow doesn't damage its blade when it finally makes its rounds.

Barb Schlapia, glad to see your street got plowed. Do you have to get elected to the Board to get that kind of service?

Anonymous said...

Have to agree about the urban legend that Raytown's streets are cleared of snow faster than other cities.

No doubt other cities have the same nodding heads on their city councils saying how great their snow removal is too.

I saw on the news that Olathe is using some sort of beet juice to treat their streets. It doesn't destroy concrete like salt does and and continues melting in colder conditions.

I'd like to see some out of the box thinking like that in Raytown.

Anonymous said...

It's looks like "Chicago Style Politics" is alive and well at Raytown city hall. Mayor Bower is rewarding his friends by giving them tax breaks that are not available to the individual that is out here living on a small Social Security check and trying to maintain their modest home. I'm willing to bet if you check the campaign financial reports (which are public record, available at the Mo. Ethics Commission or the Jackson County Election Board) the Pages, the Knabes, and the Clarks were all contributers to his campaign. Mr. Knabe's business doesn't even generate any sales tax. It's a shame that these local business people are allowed to abuse the system and Bower and his cronies on the Board go along with it. VOTE THEM OUT IN APRIL!!

Pat Casady said...

I see that our complaint department is alive and well.
I am not necessarily for tax abatements but I would rather
see them given to Raytown businesses than to out of town
businesses.
However, there needs to be rules set in place like the clawbacks.
Giving away the farm as in the Walmart deal cannot be tolerated
anymore. If that deal doesn't make it's yearly quota the people have to make up the difference. Which means more financial aid to a multi
billion dollar company.
It is so true we need new faces on the board, and that should help
enormously but, no one has stepped up for the task so it looks like
more of the same.
Anybody have any ideas?

Salamander said...

Here’s something for you bloggers to ponder.

The December 16 issue of the Kansas City Star reported that the number of flights at KCI Airport is down more than 27% from same time last year.

The number of passengers is down almost 14%.

One might think that in face of such a dramatic decline in business, the beloved guardians of the airspaces – TSA (Transportation Safety Authority) might be cutting back on personnel.

Not a chance. In fact, they are probably hiring.

Perhaps the TSA is rerouting some of their sleuths and is using them to roam the hallways, and as afar as we know, the bathrooms of the airport; looking for “suspicious” individuals.

A report in USA Today recently said exactly that. TSA actually has personnel who walk around the airport all day looking for people who, as the comedian Red Skelton put it, “just don’t look right”.

When a reporter asked Albert Einstein to define “stupidity”, he replied: “Stupidity is doing the same thing over and over the same way and expecting different results.”

Anonymous said...

How ya do'in with that paranoia thing, Salamander?

Anonymous said...

I am a laid off airline mechanic with 16 years of local service "with the former home town airline" that got bought out by AA.

Salamander is part right about the TSA. The TSA security agents start out making about 27,000.00 a year in wages. They have a VERY hard job to do and have to learn ALOT about what is going on around them, checking bags and scanning people. They aren't paid enough to do what they do. I think Salamander is talking about the "chair warmers" that make the big bucks and ride around checking for leering looking people.

Oh by the way, if the public knew of all the mishaps that happen every day in the air and on the ground, the people would never fly.

Just remember, when you buy that cheap airline ticket, you better hope the aircraft stays in the air because most of the maintenance work is done in China for $5.00 per hour and a bowl of rice and fish head. The companies are suppose to follow the maintenance rules of the FAA, but don't bet on it. I have seen too much of their shoddy workman ship.

AA does 85% of their own maintenance work in house and the rest is done in the states!

You can thank our govt. for the China work!

Anonymous said...

And China East...Wal-Mart!

Andy Whiteman said...

I didn't know workers in China were so highly paid. I thought it was more like $5 per week. Why is China working or our aircraft after the poisoned pet food and contaminated medicine? This work should be done in thew USA.

People in Mexico think $5 an hour is a lot of money! Wouldn't it be cheaper to send the aircraft to Mexico which is closer and a higher quality of worker?

By the way, my father was an FAA certified aircraft inspector who worked for the USAF. While we were on a TWA flight from Ohare to STL, he detected a problem with the plane and grounded it when it landed in STL until repairs were made. Obviosly the airlines do not inspect the aircraft properly to cut costs.

Andy Whiteman

Mark Siettmann said...

The qoute is "Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result." It is almost equally attributed to Einstein and Ben Franklin.

Anonymous said...

If anyone votes these aldermen and alderwoman back in office they are nuts or if they vote for any kind of tax increase just remenber the healthy increase we saw on our taxes this year. LISTEN TO ME NO NEW TAXES IF THEY ARE FOR THE EMS, SCHOOLS OR ANYTHING I URGE TO VOTE NO AND ABOVE ALL DON'T BE SCARED INTO VOTING YES BY THEM TELLING YOU THEY WILL HAVE TO CUT SERVICES. WE HAVE TO STAND UP FOR OURSELVES AND FIGHT OUR OWN BATTLES WE CERTAINLY CAN'T DEPEND ON OUR ALDERPEOPLE TO FIGHT FOR US.

Anonymous said...

Give Gary Knabe money you have to be kidding he is ONE OF THE BIGGEST SLUM LANDLORDS RAYTOWN HAS. If his business leaves town we won't be losing much. Most people don't list their real estate with him anyway. I think he is as croocked as a dogs hind leg. I wouldn't let him sell my dog house.

Anonymous said...

You are right about Knabe. His properties are BAD. He has one that he is allowing brush and used tires to be dumped on right next door to nice homes. WOULDN'T GIVE KNABE A DIME. Oh, no he would NEVER be allowed to sell my home.

Anonymous said...

Thank our Govt for China work? True, but only partially true.

The people that need to thank for the China work are you and me or anyone else that invests in Wall Street or a 401k, think about it. What drives CFO's & CEO's to do such idiotic things to impact the magical '10%-20%' return that Wall Street & investors DEMAND? Their STOCK PRICES...who invests? 401k & other Investors...when will idiots like anon 8:29 p.m. figure it out? Probably never because all they can think about is how they lost a high paying job...news for you mr. airline mechanic, I have relatives who do what you do & they are in high demand...so open your mind & allow yourself to go beyond your self-pity & a union to find a job. Geez, people like you make me ill.
As I see it..........

Anonymous said...

Hey, 7:29 pm, you better thank the unions who fought for the 40 hour work week, 8 hour work day, over time pay, holidays, rights to speak up and etc. or you would be working 16 hour days, no overtime, holidays, what is that? and being treated as if you had no voice. Can you live on 5.00 per hour?

By the way, airline mechanics DON'T get 95% sub pay like the auto workers!

Anonymous said...

To 7:47 pm anon, the Unions were needed in a day an age long since past (try the 30-50's), a new day has dawned about 20-30 years ago, but the Union hasn't figured it out yet. Do I thank Unions, yes I do, I thank the Unions of the 30's, 40's & 50's, but not of those over the past 20-30 years. Having been on both sides of a Union (i.e. member & management), I believe I have a pretty good understanding of how they work & do not work....e.g. protect the idiot who can't stay sober long enough to drive a forklift through the building, not once but multiple times, rally the membership for a due increase so the Union management team can pad their pocket with more dues....in more ways than I can count on my hands & feet I see the Unions have become as bad if not worse then the management they are 'saying' they are protecting their membership from.

So if your serious about American jobs with a pay structure that will support a family (and not an extravagent lifestyle) you would be better off trying to figure out what replaces a Union and achieves the end. Maybe we need to go back to the guild system of old to learn a few lessons...of course that would require most Union members to pick up a book and educate themselves on something besides what their management tells them to.

As I see it.....

Anonymous said...

Well, as I see it your relatives are contributing to the ever prevelant problem nowadays in performing certain jobs for less money and benefits, which undercuts everyones standard of living. When will it end? When will people wake up and realize that sometimes their actions can hurt and effect many others. They may simply be hungry, and willing to do just about anything just to put food on the table, keep a roof over their heads, keep their cars, etc., even selling their souls to the devil, or company, jumping through hoops, tearing up their own vehicles helping out their employer, performing contract labor so that the employer does not have to pay any benefits like helath care, etc... Is that the world that you really want? Everything that the labor unions have stood for over the years that helps everyone, including the non union ignorant ones that cannot understand or comprehend just how bad things used to be and the sacrafices that many made so that they could benefit from ... ie; the 40 hour work week, labor laws, collective bargaining, etc.

Pat Casady said...

China, no surprise there. Our country has sold it's soul to China, Japan and Mexico. All our jobs are leaving and the American
people are buying foreign cars at an alarming rate. Illegal aliens
are taking American jobs and it seems nobody cares as long as they
can save a dollar. Never mind that next week it may be their job
the illegals take or their company that moves to another country.
It's no wonder we are in the shape we are in. All our money is going
into other countries. If it's not the greedy oil companies taking our
dollars, it's the greedy manufactures moving jobs to other countries.
There is no American pride anymore. We have settled for the
substandard and in some cases dangerous products and cheap labor
to save a buck.
Some companies like Wal-Mart take American inventors ideas and
beat the price down to where the American can't produce it,
then steal it, send it to China and the inventor gets to boot. Yet the people still shop there. I guess it's because they can't here Wal-Mart laughing at them. Their advertisements try to wave the flag and tell people they are the saving place to shop, while all the time the flag
they are waving is China's. Think of how good and well thought of
Wal-Mart would have been if they would have kept the manufacturing
jobs in America.
However that's not the point. The point is we the people chose to buy
the import stuff and let our neighbors and our own jobs go away.
It was as if we all said OK we don't care about American jobs as long as "I" can save a buck, to Hell with everybody else.

Anonymous said...

Great Post Pat, so is it really the greed of the American Manufacturer or the Greed of the American people who say the H*** with everybody all I want to do is save a few dollars? Sounds to me like it is the American people, which makes my point a few posts back....about the message we (i.e. the greedy all I want is lowest cost) send the leaders of these 'greedy' manufacturing firms by demanding (along with Wall Street) that we want a huge ROI on our portfolio or investment.

AS i see it.....

Anonymous said...

Raytown Radius, the Raytown Post's website extraordinaire, has been discontinued. Since the last posting was Nov. 6 it wasn't much of a loss. Two people I know have seen the Post since it's supposed sale. there have been none in a previous news stand. Considering the folding of major national newspapers and the much better Raytown Tribune I think it's a good guess that there are no newspapers in Raytown. Big loss! Now if we could also just get rid of Raytown government the people could get on with revitalization of this town.

Anonymous said...

Pat is correct, everyone is guilty of contributing to the loss of jobs here to overseas, by purchasing cheap made chinese products because it is cheaper and more convienent for me to do so on the way home by stopping at Wal Mart.

I know that it is a pain, and inconvienent, but if everyone made a concerted effort to look for items made here in the USA that they would make a statement that we want a product that is safe, and will last longer than any of this foreign crap that has flooded the marketplace that breaks a month after you buy it. It would also help to retain jobs here in the US as well. There is nothing like going to buy an american flag only to find out that it is made in china.... Lets take our country back. Stop buying the cheapest thing available. If it costs a few more dollars for a quality made in USA part, go ahead and pay the extra and purchase it. Otherwise we may only be able to get nothing but inferior products from china in the future. The choice is ours.

Andy Whiteman said...

The Raytown Post still exists thanks to Editor and Publisher Ben Felder. I commended him for the professional and in depth presentation of local Raytown news. I receive my copy weekly by mail. Since I am old fashioned and want a print copy, I subscribe. The URL has changed when ownership changed. Check:
http://www.theraytownpost.com/

The internet is causing thr demise of print papers because prople are reading news free and the papers are losing paid subscribers.

Please support the Post and subscribe. (I have no connection with the Post other than reader and the desire that Raytown have a local newspaper.)

Andy Whiteman

Sheri Wells said...

I haven't had the opportunity to read or post on this blog lately, but I wanted to be sure to wish every one a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

I miss those that I visited with often at City Grounds. I hope that you will do what you can to help Inge out there, with the economy the way it is - it's a hard road for all.

It's been suggested that I run for Alderperson but I don't think I'll go for it this time around. I'd have to run against you, Greg - and I'd rather work with you than against you.

You can breathe easy everyone - happy holidays!

Ho Ho Ho

Anonymous said...

Here is my take on the city give whoever they are and what ever they want to them !!! We have already given the city away!!Thanks to the former mayor and board and this mayor and board. They have turned this city into nothing more than an inner city dump....