Commission Takes Next Step for New Development

The Fort Scott City Commission unanimously approved an ordinance Tuesday evening that names the lot that formerly included Woods an enterprise zone, and thus eligible for Tax Increment Financing.

By the end of the year, a Price Chopper grocery store is expected to be open for business, with the possibility of retail or other commercial services also available on the lot, which has been unused since Woods closed in November.

“We still have a lot of work to do, but this is the first step,” said Kim Bell, the city’s bond attorney.

Bell said upcoming actions will include creating the TIF district, approving a general plan, and then providing 30 days for other tax entities to express their concern if they believe the TIF district would have adverse effects. Another public hearing is scheduled to be held on June 20, when more specific plans will be presented before work begins on the building.

The TIF bond, believed to be the first of its kind in Bourbon County, serves as an incentive for new development, allowing the investors to waive tax increases for a set period of time as they make improvements to the property.

This project is expected to cost about $9.5 million, with the investors hoping to receive about $1.8 million back over 20 years of TIF incentive. In a previous meeting with the Bourbon County Commission, Economic Development Director Rachel Pruitt said they project the company would receive that amount after only nine years.

Because the TIF waives tax increases, the city and county would not lose any money, but will benefit from that increase in revenue after the incentive comes to an end.


8 thoughts on “Commission Takes Next Step for New Development”

    1. WE are not picking up the tab on anything. Why anyone would be against getting new business into this dying town, just blows my mind.

      1. We may NOT be picking up the tab directly, but every time the city/county gives a pass on collecting a full share of taxes from a wealthy business, that leads to the public having to foot the bill for all the city/county expenditures……. I’m looking forward to the new store, not looking forward to paying the already too high sales taxes though……..

        1. If I understand it correctly the tax incentive basically says, “If you want to invest $9 million into fixing up that building, the state will give you a discount on the property tax you would normally need to pay on the improvements.”

          Assuming there were multiple people fighting to spend millions of dollars investing in the old Woods building, your argument might be correct. However, if there weren’t many people wanting to spend money on it and the incentive encouraged someone to spend money where they might not have otherwise, the tax incentives will not reduce the amount of tax money the city would have gotten from that property. And since the property will be worth more, once the incentives expire, the city will be getting more than they would if there were no improvements.

          1. Yes Bob, but keep in mind that the numbers are all skewed as part of the scam….I mean “creative accounting”. 9 million dollars to turn a grocery store into a grocery store??? Yeah, I guess the floors will be gold plated and the parking lot covered in diamonds. I’d be shocked, really shocked if it cost more than 1-3/4 to 2 million TOPS….and that would be replacing everything……these numbers all get “padded” to take advantage of tax programs. To your point, Yes the property will be worth more and the city collect more revenue when the incentives expire…..but not until then……and last time I checked there is no guarantee that is going to happen. This corp. is NOT coming to Ft Scott to be nice or help us out, they are coming here for one reason and one reason ONLY…That reason is to make money…….The opportunity for them to make a profit either exist, or it doesn’t…….They can afford to pay their fair share of taxes NOW, because last time I checked, this county needs money NOW, not 10 years from now…..

          2. @Concerned – From what I understand it is going to be more along the lines of what was done with the old Wal-Mart where they brought in additional retail businesses and a restaurant. Though I think in this case the plan is to focus on restaurant closer to the road kind of like Dairy Queen is now. So it is a little more involved than turning an old grocery store into a new grocery store.

            But I do agree that there is no reason to give incentives for things that people are going to do anyway. If there were a lot of businesses trying to come in and make this type of investment, it wasn’t something I’m aware of. If weren’t any businesses wanting to invest, I think the way the incentives are structured will have a much better return on investment compared with doing nothing.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *