Archive for Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Legislator ‘concerned’ over efforts for stadium

October 14, 2009


— Kansas may be about to botch efforts to lure a corporate office complex and major league soccer stadium to Kansas City, according to some legislators who are pressuring Gov. Mark Parkinson’s administration to close a deal.

Medical software maker Cerner Corp. and the owners of the Kansas City Wizards are proposing a $414 million development near NASCAR’s Kansas Speedway. The project includes an office complex for 4,500 Cerner employees, an 18,500-seat stadium for the Wizards and two dozen soccer fields for amateur teams.

Kansas Commerce Secretary Dave Kerr told lawmakers Tuesday that he hopes to know by the end of the week whether the state, Cerner and the Wizards can agree on government incentives. Officials said the package — possibly worth more than $300 million — could include $155 million in bonds backed by local sales tax revenues.

During the House Appropriations Committee hearing, Chairman Kevin Yoder pointedly noted that the Cerner project is expected to bring 9,000 jobs to Kansas, compared to the 4,900 new jobs generated by the Department of Commerce’s business recruitment efforts during the 12 months ending in June.

“We want to be assured he’s doing everything he can to capture these jobs,” Yoder, an Overland Park Republican, said during a break. “I think legislators are genuinely concerned.”

Kerr said he’s working hard to close a deal, though when pressed by legislators he declined to say he’s confident.

Parkinson spokeswoman Beth Martino said the governor supports Kerr.


Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

Since when can Kansas taxpayers afford to give money away?

This is is tax increase disguised as a tax incentive. I thought the Kansas legislators were against tax increases?

If this project is such a huge money maker/profit generator why are taxpayers expected to foot any part of the bill?

Why are we funding buildings for wealthy business people? Yes that is what the business partners are asking for.

Let the banks finance the projects Kansas taxpayers cannot afford it.

Kansas cannot afford our educational institutions so how can we afford to play poker with our tax dollars?

"Now, in this country right now, we are spending $2 billion a year subsidizing the big four sports: baseball, basketball, football and hockey. It accounts for all of the profits of that industry and more.

Now, there may be individual teams that make money, but the industry as a whole is not profitable.

And that’s astonishing because the big four leagues are exempt from the laws of competition. By the way, irony is not dead, because here are people who are in the business of competition on the field who are exempted by law from the rules of economic competition.

If you go to England and you want to start a soccer team, they have to let you join the soccer league. There are thirteen commercial soccer teams in the London area. New York City, the biggest city in the country, there are two baseball teams, because there’s no free entry into the market. In Los Angeles, there’s no football team. And the owners use this power to prevent others from owning teams, to prevent municipal governments from owning teams, to prevent nonprofits from owning teams, to extract money from the taxpayers to build them new stadiums.

At the same time that we’re doing this, we are starving our public parks for money. And I show in Free Lunch how the rise of urban gangs and now suburban gangs is connected to this.

We used to have all sorts of programs in this country after World War II for young men and young women on Saturdays and during the summer and school holidays, where even if you didn’t have any money—didn’t matter that your parents didn’t have any money, because—and I know this because I did it as a child—you could go to any one of a half-dozen different places, and there were organized activities to keep you out of trouble.

After all, idle hands are the devil’s workshop is not exactly a radical new idea. "

Wind,solar and hydro energy would be the better investments because this new industry would hire a ton of people throughout the entire state and would never leave because Kansas needs the new energy sources.

There are no guarantees with private industries that float about seeking tax dollar give aways. In a few years they will be gone or asking for more.

Richard Heckler 8 years, 2 months ago

“Free Lunch: How the Wealthiest Americans Enrich Themselves at Government Expense (And Stick You with the Bill)" reveals how government subsidies and new regulations have quietly funneled money from the poor and the middle class to the rich and politically connected. By way of using OUR tax dollars.

Between 1945 and the election of Ronald Reagan, we had a government that was focused on creating and nurturing the middle class. When I was a young man, I was able to go to college only because it was free. It didn’t matter that I didn’t have any money—my dad was a 100 percent disabled veteran, and I went to work when I was ten years old and full time since I was thirteen—because it was free.

Today, the cost of a college education, a state college education, is about $10,000 a year. The average income of the bottom half of taxpayers—that’s not families, that’s taxpayers—is about $15,000. Think you can go to college if two-thirds of your income would have to go to college? I don’t think so.

Well, Mr.—what Mr. Reagan did in 1980 was he asked a question that had a very powerful effect. He said, “Are you better off than you were four years ago?” And Americans said no, they weren’t. And they elected him to office, and they set in motion a major change in government policy, a change that I think has been perverted. I do not believe Reagan intended all of the things that have been done since he started this happening.

But I’m asking the question in Free Lunch: Are you better off than you were in 1980? And on the surface, America is much better off. The country is more than twice as wealthy in real terms as it was in 1980. Per person, adjusted for inflation, the economy now puts out $1.70 for every dollar that it put out in 1980. Those are absolutely tremendous economic numbers.

So how come we’re not all really well-off? Why is it one-in-seven families has filed bankruptcy in the last twenty-five years? Why is it people are so mired in debt that television ads are just full of debt relief and take on more debt ads, sometimes at 99 percent interest? Why is it that so many people don’t have health insurance and so many people no longer have a retirement plan?

And by the way, the average income of the bottom 90 percent of Americans, what I call the vast majority, is smaller today than it was in 1980. And since the year 2000, when we really got serious about this tax cut business, the average income of Americans every year—2001, ’02, ’03, ’04, ’05—has been smaller than it was in 2000. There have been some gains in 2004 and ’05, but they haven’t gotten up to equal 2000. And of those gains in the year 2000—it’s either ’05 over ’04 or ’04 over ’03—half went to people who make over a million dollars a year. What’s happened is—

Boston_Corbett 8 years, 2 months ago

Please LJW, implement a squelch feature for your forum.

enufalready 8 years, 2 months ago

How many more budget cuts to fund a stadium? NO MORE HAND-OUTS

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