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Thu January 28, 2010
TIF Suit Appears Over: City Surrenders
Kansas City, Mo. – Kansas City has surrendered to demands of a lawsuit by Jackson County government. The suit challenged Kansas City power to direct handling of tax dollars due counties, schools and libraries.
The embittered battle of recent weeks appears over with unanimous approval of an ordinance allowing members outside city jurisdiction have full voting power on the Tax Increment Finance Commision. That was essence of the lawsuit set for trial next month.
The TIF Commission allows tax breaks to approved developers.
Councilman Terry Riley explained his vote for the ordinance change--"For the sake of unity here,unifying Kansas City, Jackson County, Clay and Platte to make sure that every single jurisdiction is receiving their fair share of tax dollars, period."
The move got Mayor Mark Funkhouser's vote. He said he was concerned the lawsuit would hurt the city's bond rating. Jackson County Executive Mike Sanders commended the city council for its action. Sanders said he would drop the lawsuit as soon as the new ordinance became effective. The county had maintained the city violated state law, leaving other jurisdictions on the commission without full voting rights.