Mayor James' press secretary: It was my fault
The Kansas City Star
The Star reported Wednesday that Lockton Cos. would, indeed, receive taxpayer incentives to stay on the Plaza.
Wait a minute, I thought: What happened to Mayor Sly James’ pronouncement last January, when Lockton said it would stay, that no city subsidies were involved?
At the time, that struck me as surprisingly good news in the tax break-driven world of corporate welfare.
Well, it was too good to be true: The city IS going to provide incentives.
So why did the mayor tell Kansas Citians publicly something differently a few months ago?
I called press secretary Danny Rotert Wednesday for comment.
“It was my fault,” he said right off the bat.
Rotert said he wrote the remarks for the mayor, and - in doing research - he had missed the fact that city incentives were involved. The amount will be around $300,000, he said, in foregone sales tax receipts.
In addition, the city will abate just under $100,000 in property taxes, he said, over 10 years.
Given these details, my push back would be for Mayor James:
Given all the incentives that have to be handed out with almost any big deal these days, it would have been good to have double- and even triple-confirmed the fact that the city wouldn’t be giving any incentives to Lockton before speaking about the matter.
In the end, this is a reminder that, when taxpayer incentives are involved, it’s far better to assume the taxpayers will be on the hook than assume they won’t be.
Sorry to say….