Parkville critical of County’s roads tax revenue distribution

The City of Parkville may be on its way to closing the door to development aided by Tax Increment Financing (TIF), and members of the Parkville Board of Aldermen say the Platte County Commission is to blame. During a public hearing on the future of a stalled TIF project at the intersection of Highway 45 and Bell Road, Parkville Aldermen voiced their displeasure with the Platte County Commission and the Commission’s decision to recalculate its formula for disbursement of funds from its three-eights cent sales tax dedicated to transportation. The first run of the County transportation sales tax ended last year and was renewed by voters. Along with this passage a few new entities – including roads districts – were added to the list of groups able to benefit from the tax. This altered the County’s formula for calculating disbursements. This has been a bone of contention for several of the entities set to benefit from the tax funds, as the County Commission opted not to set final disbursements until agreements for participation in the tax were received from all entities. The largest holdout so far is the City of Kansas City, which receives the lion’s share of funding due to its size and population. Some if not all participating entities expect to receive less funds due to the increase in participation. While this has been an issue simmering in the background for many months, the issue came to a head at the public hearing Tuesday evening. The Parkville Market Place TIF was approved by the Parkville Board of Aldermen in February 2008. The TIF ordinance tasked property owner and developer TUF Flight Industries and its owner Pat Kelly to develop the area in a timely fashion and eliminate blight. The agreement called for the project to be constructed over about two years, with completion by spring 2010. However, this was before the economic crash of 2008. According to a report from Assistant City Administrator Sean Ackerson, most redevelopment deadlines have been missed and the City considers the developer in default of several provisions of the agreement. The five-year review was scheduled to allow the Board to consider Kelly’s suggestion to rework the project and extend the deadlines. Ackerson said the Board could choose to entertain their request, could terminate the TIF agreement outright, or could let the project continue to ride as-is and review it again at a future date. While the Board ultimately determined to do just that – let it ride, the hearing became a referendum on County policy. Alderman Marc Sportsman said he believed the County’s changes to the transportation tax disbursement would make Parkville less rather than more inclined to approve more TIFs in the future.