An ambitious restructuring plan that would replace the many boards running Kansas City’s alphabet-soup mixture of economic development agencies with a single “super board” is the key recommendation in a draft of the long-awaited AdvanceKC reform plan according to a recent Kansas City Star article.
The super board,which AdvanceKC authors think the Kansas City Council has the power to enact itself,also could lead to eventually merging all the agencies — TIF,DESA,LCRA,PIEA,EEZ,IDA and Port Authority — and their tax incentive programs into one development agency run by a single board.
That grand consolidation,however,would require permission from the Missouri General Assembly.
At a minimum,a super board could eliminate the internal competition among agencies;clarify the sometimes confusing procedure to developers and businesses;and reduce the political tensions that have obstructed the review process at the various agencies,notably the Tax Increment Financing Commission.
The AdvanceKC initiative began more than two years ago after an even more radical overhaul of the city’s development programs favored by former Mayor Mark Funkhouser was rejected.
Although that proposal also recommended creating a super board,it would have transferred all the development programs and incentives of the Economic Development Corp. to City Hall.