Yet another taxpayer subsidy for more shopping
The Kansas City Star
Thanks to yet more taxpayer assistance, the Mission Gateway project finally appears on the road to reality.
Earlier this week Wal-Mart agreed it would impose an extra half-cent sales tax on customers at its proposed store in Mission. That revenue, along with funds from a similar sales tax charged at other retail outlets at the project, will help make it possible.
Once again, as it’s done throughout the metropolitan area for years, Wal-Mart will be erecting a new store in a subsidized development.
Mission officials are expected in January to embrace the idea of imposing the half-cent sales tax at the shopping center as part of a community improvement district. In addition to a Walmart store, the developer hopes to offer a fitness center, grocery, restaurant and 300 apartments.
However, a once-promised aquarium and an accompanying hotel have been dropped, so the development has lost some of the allure it once had as a real game-changer for Mission.
Mission Gateway also will affect neighboring Roeland Park.
Wal-Mart’s store there will close in the next year or so, draining the city of at least $500,000 annually in sales tax revenue. City officials are scrambling to find ways to continue providing public services. Earlier this month, voters rejected a three-quarters cent sales tax increase proposed by the city.
At this point Roeland Park has become another casualty in the costly scramble for publicly subsidized shopping centers in the two-state area.