Mission wins Wal-Mart skirmish with Roeland Park
The Kansas City Star
The economic development border war between Mission and Roeland Park escalated this week.
Mission officials endorsed millions in excessive public incentives to attract a new Wal-Mart to its long-delayed Gateway development. They celebrated the decision — although it was only several years ago that many residents had rejected the idea of allowing the company to build on the site of the old Mission Center.
But after the center was knocked down, years passed, redevelopment plans came and went, pushing the city to finally grant Wal-Mart permission to anchor the Gateway project.
That will seal the fate of the existing Wal-Mart in Roeland Park. It will close, eliminating $500,000 of sales tax revenue the store now generates for the city each year.
Roeland Park officials have publicly criticized what they characterize as Mission’s “stealing” of Wal-Mart, moving it only one mile away with the help of public assistance.
Last year, Roeland Park voters rejected a three-quarter cent sales tax increase to replace funds generated by the store. Now city officials will have to consider cuts to city services, a higher property tax or a combination. In this part of the border war, at least, Roeland Park is the main casualty.