Sunday, January 31, 2016


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Looking Forward
to Tuesday Night
Tuesday night the Raytown Board of Aldermen are expected to consider two important issues of local interest which will either endorse the policies of the David Bower administration, or, place distance between the previous City Council and itself.

Gone are the days when this Board can say their hands are tied. They own the following two issues up for discussion on Tuesday. Interested Raytowners will be watching.

353 TAX BREAK . . . Two buildings located at 9503-9507 East 63rd Street have applied for a total of $34,737.93 in property tax abatements. The abatements may be granted under a Missouri law allowing local (tax collecting) agencies to abate (or more plainly stated, forgive and not collect property tax) from properties that have been deemed blighted.

The Raytown Board of Aldermen has the final word on the decision. Their hands are not bound by any recommendation.

There is little doubt the Bower Administration would have pushed this proposal through in a heartbeat. It will be interesting to see how this City Council will handle it.

The owner of a large vacant lot, located just east of Blue Ridge Elementary on 63rd Street, has been targeted by Greg Stervinou Construction Company as a  location for a new Dollar Store. 

For those keeping count, this would be the third such business located between Brywood Shopping Center and the Family Dollar Store recently opened near Arlington and 63rd Street. If approved, this would place three such businesses within half a mile each other.

The previous city council never approved previous zoning applications because (1) the area under consideration is surrounded by residential properties, (2) safety concerns of putting such a store adjacent to a large grade school and (3) unanimous opposition to the zoning request by all the neighbors who own homes near the proposed site.

The opposition to the zoning is very strong by the local neighborhoods. The previous Board of Aldermen recognized the legitimacy of those protest and stood with their constituents.

Property Tax 
Abatement Explained
Property tax abatements can best be explained in the following manner. 

Let's say four guys sit down to share an apple pie. The pie costs $4.00. So each of the pie eaters throws in $1.00 to pay their share of the cost of the pie.

A few days later they decide to meet and eat another pie. 

One of pie eaters has received an abatement on his portion of the cost of the pie. In other words, he used to pay $1.00. Now he pays nothing.

The other three pie eaters see their cost of the pie increase.

Why? Because the pie still costs $4.00. The change that matters is that of the pie eaters does not have to pay. His buddies have to pick up the cost of the $4.00 for the pie. Which leaves them making up the difference by paying $1.33 each.
The same math works for real estate property taxes in Raytown. Of course the taxing districts are spread over more than just four guys eating pie.

The other difference is that all properties affected by this shifting of tax responsibilities happen only once a year when our property tax bills come due around Christmas time.

It is a method used to give people tax reductions and loading it onto their neighbors back.This happens every time a tax abatement is granted.

It is a deep, dark secret of local taxing entities.

Do you want to know how secret? The recommending body that advises the City Council on the tax abatement is called the Raytown Municipal Redevelopment Corporation.

Do you know anyone on that committee? Didn’t think so. They should be able to give you the names and contact information for those individuals by contacting city hall.

Good luck with that!

The last time the Raytown Report asked for information from city hall we were told to file a Freedom of Information Act!

It will be interesting to see how the new Board reacts to the application. After all, it is their decision to make. They cannot have some other group or committee make it for them.

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Andy Whiteman said...

Raytown is lucky that the Walmart Neighborhood Market was not built. It would have been another vacant lot and not a Green Space!!!!

Andy Whiteman

Anonymous said...

I thought the Dollar General was closed in Brywood . Only leaving a dollar tree. Big difference in what those stores carry; not even in the same ballpark. Family Dollar and Dollar general are very simular. Just like a JC Penney and a Macys.

Anonymous said...

I thought the Dollar General was closed in Brywood . Only leaving a dollar tree. Big difference in what those stores carry; not even in the same ballpark. Family Dollar and Dollar general are very simular. Just like a JC Penney and a Macys.

Anonymous said...

The Dollar Tree in Brywood is nothing like a Family Dollar or a Dollar General. The only thing they have in common is one word. Just like there are many Department stores but they are all Department stores. It's just a name

Anonymous said...

The Dollar Tree and Family Dollar have something else in common. They are both in a commercially zoned area. The proposed Dollar General is right in the middle of residentially zoned area. How would you like to have a Dollar General across the street in your neighborhood.

I also heard that Dollar General is NOT part of the application. If our city council votes this in there is no guarantee what the developer says will bring in what he is selling. If they approve this one I have a bridge to sell them in the south part of Raytown!

Anonymous said...

Why weren't the minutes of the RMRC meeting included in the Board Packet? That stuff was always included up until about six months ago including the names of the members and the manner in which they voted.

Anonymous said...

I disagree with the pie analogy. You could say without the abatement, the fourth guy wouldn't be at the table and his spot would be filled with a falling apart, broken chair. The other three think about filling that spot, but it's unattractive and "the market conditions aren't right for buying cruddy chairs", etc.

In reality, tax abatements work by shifting money someone would otherwise be paying in property tax into REAL improvements on a property for a certain amount of time, after which they return to the normal tax rate -- which will almost certainly be a higher amount than before because those improvements should increase the value of the property.

Go and look up this property on the county website. It appears it got reassessed in 2015 and the tax bill went down by about $12,000 a year (or about 75%!) to just over $4k a year. It makes sense because old, empty real estate has quickly deteriorating value. Thus, this abatement represents a whopping 2 years of taxes if we assume it will get back up to its previous value with this investment and whatever else the developer does. On the other hand, if somehow the property somehow stays steady or loses value because the developer can't pull together a deal, the taxes peak here and slowly slide to whatever the county assesses an empty lot at. Which hurts the city more?

Anonymous said...

I think the land near the blue ridge elementary would be best with a duplex or two definatly not a business.

Anonymous said...

It could just be a fact of life that the property on question will never attain a higher use than a small grocery or home goods store like Dollar General. It's not an everything's a dollar shop. They have milk, eggs, some groceries and normal "stuff" people tend to run oit of at inconvenient times. Basically, 5he proposed use is nothing less than a very small neighborhood general store.

Andy Whiteman said...

I agree with 4:20PM. I liken Dollar type stores to an oversized 7-11 discount type store.
Andy Whiteman