Archive for Wednesday, August 22, 2012

County approves tax breaks for Ninth, N.H. development

August 22, 2012


The Douglas County Commission on Wednesday unanimously approved tax breaks for the hotel project at Ninth and New Hampshire streets.

Related document

8-22-12 County Commission agenda ( .PDF )

The tax incremental financing district for the project will capture between $300,000 and $400,000 in county sales tax over a 20-year period. That money will be repaid to the developers.

Commissioner Mike Gaughan asked Lawrence planner Diane Stoddard if the hotel’s guest tax would benefit the county. The guest tax goes to the city, county administrator Craig Weinaug said, but the city often uses those funds for historic preservation and promotion projects that are joint ventures with the city.

Stoddard said that the commission had the ability to veto its portion of the tax break, as does the school board, before Friday. All three commissioners expressed support for the project.

The city approved its portion of the TIF in its meeting Tuesday.

In other business from Wednesday’s meeting:

• The commission also unanimously approved the creation of a joint economic development council, a project Commissioner Nancy Thellman has been working on with Lawrence city commissioners and members of the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce. Thellman said that she didn’t know the timeline going forward but that the group will soon be looking to appoint members. The county seats will include one commissioner and two members of the public.

• The burn ban for unincorporated parts of the county remains in effect. The commission will again vote whether to extend it during next week’s meeting.

• The Berry Plastics project got official approval of its bond issue. The warehouse project will go forward thanks to a $21 million bond with the Bank of New York Mellon Trust Company of St. Louis.

The commission will next meet at 6:35 p.m. Wednesday on the second floor of the County Courthouse, 1100 Mass. Two or more members may also be present at a regional transportation study meeting from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Monday at City Hall.


jhawkinsf 1 year, 8 months ago

Jafs, (continued) The love of those at the top of the food chain might explain the actions of our elected leaders. Or maybe not. I'm not going to speak for them.

But speaking for myself, that's not true. As I've said, I have no interest, other than that as an ordinary citizen. That said, let me revise something I said earlier. When I mentioned 100 homeowners getting together in a neighborhood revitalization project, that number actually doesn't work when we're comparing it to an 18 million dollar project (I'm using that number from memory, hopefully it's accurate). But anyway, 100 homeowners would have to each do a $180,000 remodel to equal that 18 mil. That's some remodel. Maybe 1,000 homeowners doing $18,000 or 2,000 homeowners doing $9,000 remodel would be more realistic. But of course, that many homeowners doing that amount of work is itself unrealistic. But it puts things in some perspective. That hotel, it's a BIG deal. And that in itself might explain why them and not you. It's the same reason Obama and Romney are having dinner at $10,000/plate in Beverly Hills and not at your place or my place. Then again, if either of us does a $180,000 remodel, maybe we would have enough cash on hand to host such a dinner.


Machiavelli_mania 1 year, 8 months ago

This is just SOOOOOOO Wrong!!

I will be looking to see who the commissioners are presently and seek to oust them.


Steven Gaudreau 1 year, 8 months ago

The way I read this is the county will "capture" the tax revenue tif and then repay the the money to developers so the repayment is based on the success of the project. The builder will not get paid back unless the project is creating sales tax. Right? So what's the risk to the city in regard to the tif?


defenestrator 1 year, 8 months ago

I'm really getting tired of these welfare types taking what's not theirs.


toe 1 year, 8 months ago

The only reason their are abatements is that taxes are too high. Anyone paying full rate is a chump.


blindrabbit 1 year, 8 months ago

Which corner at 9th and N.H., Southeast or Northeast???


Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

This hotel has been able to accomplish $12,000,000 in tax breaks. How many decades will it take taxpayers to realize a dividend on that tax dollar investment?

A $12 million tax dollar handout for low wage employment seems like a risky investment.

Well, what is tax increment financing? I’ll tell you what it is. You go to the store with your goods, you pay for it at Wal-Mart, and there’s a very good chance that that store has made a deal with the government that the sales taxes you are required to pay, that government requires you to pay, never go to the government.

Instead, those sales taxes are kept by Wal-Mart or whomever and used to pay the cost of the store. And typically in those deals, the store is tax exempt, just like a church.

Now, there are two ways that it’s important to think about this. One is, that means your kid’s schools, your police department, your library, your parks are not getting that money.



Richard Heckler 1 year, 8 months ago

"The tax incremental financing district for the project will capture between $300,000 and $400,000 in county sales tax over a 20-year period. That money will be repaid to the developers. "


flyin_squirrel 1 year, 8 months ago

Good to see, as this will help all the businesses downtown and create more tax revenue from the people staying in town spending money!


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