Spoiling the Crossroads?

Issues concerning Downtown as described by the Downtown Council. River to 31st Street, I-35 to Bruce R. Watkins.
User avatar
staubio
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 6953
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 11:17 am
Location: River Market
Contact:

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by staubio » Tue Jan 06, 2004 10:42 am

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/business/7640064.htm

This is discouraging. It looks like the vitality that artists brought to the Crossroads threatens to destroy them. It certainly doesn't feel like the city is nurturing these organic movements that are changing downtown.

It is insane that improving old buildings -- sometimes saving them -- means that one will take a tax hit next time around. Shouldn't we use our tax structure to incent people to do responsible things, such as renovating old buildings and trying to bring property values into depressed neighborhoods, instead pf socking it to them immediately? I'm growing quite tired of a nation built on tax perks that perpetuate SUV use and urban sprawl.

Maybe the district could buy a catering license to serve alcohol at openings. You'd think the city could just turn the other way when this is such a good thing for the city. Urban revitalization and a creative hotbed in the heart of the city and we're bugging them about free wine?
Last edited by staubio on Tue Jan 06, 2004 12:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
bahua
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 10857
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 7:39 pm
Location: Out of Town
Contact:

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by bahua » Tue Jan 06, 2004 12:49 pm

Join me in the fight for land taxation!

The unfortunate tax situation you refer to is simply the way it works, under our immensely flawed property tax system, and makes things like turning a neighborhood around, even if it's a natural move, very difficult.

User avatar
trailerkid
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 11221
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 4:49 pm
Location: San Francisco, California
Contact:

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by trailerkid » Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:13 pm

Rising property values that make creative people flee is not new to Kansas City. It may not be right, but it is urban capitalism. Artists move into a blighted district, fix it up, make it hip, yuppies and big business take note and move in, artists move out to next blighted district. Many struggling artists and musicians fled Manhattan years ago because of costs and came to areas of Brooklyn. KCK anyone?


I do not support giving the Crossroads a leg up in the tax department. It is absolutely true that if Crossroads cheats on its taxes, why shouldn't we let anyone (small business people, artists, musicians, theater companies) in other neighborhoods of the city cheat too? Anyone who says their property taxes are too high would be eligible. We haven't set a good precedent by TIFing every big business project and letting artists fend for themselves, but I'm not supporting the TIFing going on in places like the River Market or Plaza.

User avatar
staubio
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 6953
Joined: Tue Dec 09, 2003 11:17 am
Location: River Market
Contact:

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by staubio » Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:26 pm

I don't think we should give them unfair tax advantages. My point was that the system is messed up in the first place, but I suppose artists can make some serious money turning property values around and then moving on. I just wish they weren't driven out for having the vision and initiative to be first-movers into a neighborhood. There is a big difference between actually using tax money to subsidize projects and controlling property taxes from getting out of control. People shouldn't feel like making such a noble move isn't worth it when they'll get hit with the bill in the end.

I'm sure a lot of those properties were over-appraised anyway. They are getting clumped in with commercial properties and trendy new loft developments, so hopefully the modest residential studios will have a just adjustment.

I'd miss Crossroads if it lost its artistic edge. First Fridays is an excellent concept and a wonderful experience. Let it be. I just wish the vitality and excitement that you see on First Friday was there every night. Maybe other developments when the artists are rushed away can make it like that. I just hope the artists keep fighting the good fight and forge onward.

Sign me up, bahua. It is already part of my platform for my 2032 run for president. :) It goes beyond personal taxation though. All of the institutions of our country encourage the consumption and disposable attitudes. Your land taxation suggestion would go a long way to encourage more responsible development, increased cohesiveness in neighborhoods and more livable communities. Some would argue that it is legislating a way of life, but I would argue that we are already doing so --- at least this way of life is sustainable.

User avatar
tat2kc
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 4196
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 6:32 pm
Location: freighthouse district
Contact:

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by tat2kc » Tue Jan 06, 2004 1:47 pm

The only reason that the Western Auto lofts and other projects are successful is because the artists had the courage to redevelop the area without asking for handouts. Now the big guys with the deep pockets come in and say that they can't complete their projects without huge multi-year tax breaks, while those who did the same without tax breaks are shouldering the burden. It is not fair. The city needs to reward those who took a chance. If the galleries and funky little places move on, where's the charm in the crossroads? If we aren't careful, this district will begin to blossom with national chains that have no heart or soul.
Are you sure we're talking about the same God here, because yours sounds kind of like a dick.

User avatar
QueSi2Opie
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 3864
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 2:05 pm
Location: Hangin' with the cons, crazies, and crackheads on 11th & Grand.

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by QueSi2Opie » Tue Jan 06, 2004 2:44 pm

I jus' wrote the mayor an email.
The Pendergast Poltergeist Project!

I finally divorced beer and proposed to whiskey, but I occassionally cheat with fine wine.

KC ROO
Strip mall
Strip mall
Posts: 141
Joined: Mon Nov 11, 2002 9:54 pm
Location: Kansas City

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by KC ROO » Tue Jan 06, 2004 3:38 pm

It seems that along 18th street there are lots of art studios and gallaries moving over there, perhaps this will be the next area for artist to move and it could help link 18th and vine to donwtown also.
"Make no small plans: they have no magic to stir men's blood,"  Daniel Burnham.

User avatar
FangKC
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12906
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:02 pm
Location: Old Northeast -- Indian Mound

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by FangKC » Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:22 pm

I think there should be a different type of assessment done when the property is being used for the arts (art gallery, theater). In those situations, there should be a basic property tax paid at a set amount that isn't based on the current assessed value of the property. However, if the artist who owns the building does sell it at a high profit, then he must pay a graduated "windfall" property tax for the last 2-3 years. For example, a studio or gallery pays a set $800 a year in property taxes as long as it operates on the property. Then, if the artist/owner sells it at a big profit, the artist must pay what the assessed evaluation would have been for the last 2-3 years ($30,000 for example if that's the amount the taxes would have been per year).

This way the art enterprises may stay in the district they helped to redevelop without huge penalties once assessments go up dramatically. They can still benefit from selling the building, but they must pay the county/city a fair market rate for property taxes for the last few years they owned the building because of large capital gains when the property sold. That way they don't just establish the art business or studio as a way of becoming a real estate baron who pays no taxes.

The county/city will still benefit from the raise in property assessments and collections because the art-oriented enterprises cause the non-art commercial properties to increase in value, and sales taxes are still collected on sales of the art.

I do think though that in lieu of a fixed property tax for artists, there should at least be a limit to how much property taxes can increase for them from year to year. Two-to-four percent yearly increases seems fair as a limit on art-based properties. That way they don't get stuck with hugh tax jumps from year to year, and have to take out loans to cover them.

Another way would be do designate the Crossroads district as an enterprise zone with tax-credits given for improving the properties over a graduated period. If you put $50,000 into fixing up a building, you will receive a $5000 yearly credit for 10 years against your property tax bill. So if your annual property taxes based on the assessment is $5,000, then your credit reduced the tax to zero.

There could be caveats built into this structure so that big corporations don't buy the bigger buildings in the district just to avoid paying property taxes. You could limit the size of the enterprise to less than 30 people. That way you'd encourage a lot of small businesses to move into the Crossroads and fix up properties.

Having these types of tax credits would allow commercial enterprises who own their properties, and have continued operating their businesses within Crossroads throughout the period of blight (like Michael's clothing store; Bob Jones' Shoes), to invest money and improve their properties and gain tax credits too. They are then being rewarded for having stayed in the district and not abandoning it. Their property tax increases should also be limited to a certain amount. They shouldn't be punished because the neighborhood suddenly improved after a long blighted period.

What I fear if local government doesn't do something to keep the artists in Crossroads, Johnson and Wyandotte County will offer them a better deal to move across the state line.

Art communities create a lot of commerce and tourism. They shouldn't be punished. People visiting those galleries also frequent the restaurants and bars in the area.

There is nothing wrong with giving artists an incentive to stay in or move to one specific district like Crossroads within a city. After all, Westport and the Plaza are not really blighted districts that need redevelopment. If the artist in one of those areas crys foul, then they can be informed that they too can benefit from the incentive if they move into a blighted area with a tax-credit program.

Good2Great
New York Life
New York Life
Posts: 388
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 3:24 pm

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by Good2Great » Tue Jan 06, 2004 4:54 pm

It's like that everywhere. You see, the skinny and malnurished "artists" are viewed by society as Guinea Pigs. If they can survive scurrying from crevice to crevice on the crossroads, just think how a person with a job could live...........with FURNITURE!

Do you think an Eddie Bauer flannel shirt was $50 when Eddie Vedder bought his in Seattle in 1990? NOPE, but he showed that they were OK....everybody bought em and the price went up.

The Crossroads is your flannel shirt!!!!
KCSKYSCRAPERS changed my life. I was on the edge until I visited this site. Now I find myself longing to dive off a 60 story building onto a frozen fountain paying tribute to the St. Louis Arch.

User avatar
bahua
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 10857
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 7:39 pm
Location: Out of Town
Contact:

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by bahua » Tue Jan 06, 2004 5:34 pm

If the current tax system doesn't work, why keep using it? A three-year trial period is still going to end the same way: people moving away because of higher taxes.

ignatius
Oak Tower
Oak Tower
Posts: 4633
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 2:42 pm
Location: Midtown/Downtown
Contact:

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by ignatius » Tue Jan 06, 2004 6:52 pm

The big mess here is that those who began the movement are paying massive taxes. Those who are exploiting the movement are getting big TIF breaks.

It may be unfair to single out artists but corporations are getting tax breaks and they are not. The creative community is JUST AS important as corporations that bring jobs.

User avatar
FangKC
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12906
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:02 pm
Location: Old Northeast -- Indian Mound

Re: Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by FangKC » Tue Jan 06, 2004 9:25 pm

staubio wrote:I'm growing quite tired of a nation built on tax perks that perpetuate SUV use and urban sprawl.


I agree. People who chose to live in the periphery of the city on larger lots than those in the central city should be made to pay more taxes than those whose property is assessed at the same value in the inner city. If you have a $150,000 home in Hyde Park with 50 feet of street frontage, you should pay less property tax than someone with a $150,000 home in the Northland who has 100 feet of street frontage.

Why? Because it costs more to provide infastructure to your property. Twice as much water pipe, street, sidewalk, sewer, snow removal, etc., are needed to front your property than one in the inner city. Sprawl also requires new infastructure be constructed when there is land available with infastructure already in place in the inner city. It would also discourage people from continuing to move outward instead of building more efficiently. This means buying smaller-sized and vacant lots for infill projects, and constructing two-story houses instead of one-story on the land available. I mean, why build a 3,000 sq. ft. one story house on a large lot instead of a 3,000 sq. ft two-story house on a lot half the size. The less roof footage a house has, the less heat loss there is (since heat rises). In addition, smaller-sized lots require less infastructure to service them, and less use of energy to mow the yards--not to mention pollution created by lawnmowers (which don't have to meet air-quality standards like cars). Snow removal is another example. Instead of one house on 100 ft. of street, two houses on two 50 ft. frontages give the city more snow removal bang for their buck. More people are serviced for the same amount of money basically.

staubio wrote:Urban revitalization and a creative hotbed in the heart of the city and we're bugging them about free wine?


I know. This seems stupid. Phoenix (Scottsdale's arts district actually) has artwalk every Thursday night and they allow free wine to be given out in the art galleries. To solve the problem of open containers on the street, gallery owners could place a trash can at the door and request that visitors finish their drink or discard it before leaving. As far as people who ignore the rule, they can be ticketed by police on the street if they have open containers. What's the difference if someone goes to a liquor store and leaves the building, opens a beer in the parking lot and begins drinking it there? The police would ticket the offender with the open container, not the liquor store.

User avatar
trailerkid
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 11221
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 4:49 pm
Location: San Francisco, California
Contact:

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by trailerkid » Tue Jan 06, 2004 11:07 pm

Doesn't it make sense that property taxes are going to go up when they are selling $400,000+ lofts at 1819 Lofts? Something needs to happen with the tax structure but an arts district will attract people with higher income no matter where it is or what the tax structure is.

User avatar
bahua
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 10857
Joined: Thu Jan 23, 2003 7:39 pm
Location: Out of Town
Contact:

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by bahua » Tue Jan 06, 2004 11:59 pm

Sure, but there wouldn't be any need for city intervention to "persuade" companies and businesses to locate there, if it was irresistible on its own. It makes no sense that the city wants to cowtow to companies making the old threat to move to the cornfields. The city needs to get some backbone, and say, "Fine. Go to 394th and Mission. We don't need you."

The thing is, the city thinks they do need to put these self-destructive measures in place to keep employers in town, because they don't think any company would ever want to locate here for any other reason. For this, we come, once again, to the horrible fact that concerning the urban core, the authority figures in this city think they are basically in charge of its demise. They certainly don't think they have any kind of opportunity by being in this city's government. They don't seem to think that business, population, and prosperity happen naturally. They think it requires TIF payoffs and short-changing someone else.

I need to run for council....

User avatar
rxlexi
Valencia Place
Valencia Place
Posts: 1907
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2003 10:30 pm
Location: City Market

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by rxlexi » Wed Jan 07, 2004 4:05 am

I just sent Kevin Collison an email in response to that article. Very sad that the beauty of such a natural and succesful neighborhood is apparently being overlooked. Here's hoping for a successful negotiation of these issues.
](*,)
are we spinning free?

User avatar
KCPowercat
Power & Light
Power & Light
Posts: 28617
Joined: Mon Oct 07, 2002 12:49 pm
Location: Quality Hill
Contact:

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by KCPowercat » Fri Jan 09, 2004 1:00 am

http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascit ... 656804.htm

Even more, now the city is busting the free drinks?

Really dropping the ball here if you ask me. I think this situation needs a blind eye turned towards it......can't help this very popular event.


BAD KCMO BAD!
http://downtownkcmo.blogspot.com

Tweeting live from Big 12 tournament @downtownkc

User avatar
QueSi2Opie
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 3864
Joined: Tue Nov 12, 2002 2:05 pm
Location: Hangin' with the cons, crazies, and crackheads on 11th & Grand.

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by QueSi2Opie » Fri Jan 09, 2004 1:12 am

KC wrote:http://www.kansascity.com/mld/kansascity/news/local/7656804.htm

Even more, now the city is busting the free drinks?

Really dropping the ball here if you ask me. I think this situation needs a blind eye turned towards it......can't help this very popular event.


BAD KCMO BAD!


I have faith the mayor will step in and create some sort of alcohol zoning law for the Arts District...hopefully in place by this April when First Fridays really start pickin' up again. I say between 16th Street and 22nd Street, from Grand to Central (or at least 18th to 22nd/Baltimore to Wyandotte), jus' have cops stand around the district carding those who look under 21.

Maybe the city should spend more time crackin' down on people's house parties that have minors present. Or how about shuting down those Plaza restaurants that don't card? Seriously, this city has turned the blind eye for years, why stop now?!
The Pendergast Poltergeist Project!

I finally divorced beer and proposed to whiskey, but I occassionally cheat with fine wine.

TheDude
Strip mall
Strip mall
Posts: 201
Joined: Thu May 22, 2003 3:30 pm
Location: Center of the mind

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by TheDude » Sat Jan 10, 2004 2:08 pm

You have faith in Fearless Leader??? OH MY, you have got to be kidding. Reason 5.0 is bustin' down cause its easy and there is minimal political weight in the C-roads. There are no powerful corps and/or organized "family" elements to grease the wheels, so the man goes the way of least resistence. just another reason for out-a-downtowners to shake their heads at our city leaders. solution -- flask full of moonshine and the art will look 100% better.
"ALWAYS be closing"

User avatar
FangKC
City Center Square
City Center Square
Posts: 12906
Joined: Sat Jul 26, 2003 10:02 pm
Location: Old Northeast -- Indian Mound

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by FangKC » Sat Jan 10, 2004 4:44 pm

I'm willing to bet that John Ashcroft has his hand in this somehow.


;-) :lol:

User avatar
tat2kc
Bryant Building
Bryant Building
Posts: 4196
Joined: Wed Feb 19, 2003 6:32 pm
Location: freighthouse district
Contact:

Spoiling the Crossroads?

Post by tat2kc » Sat Jan 10, 2004 7:19 pm

ROTFL! I love the way you think Fang!!!
Are you sure we're talking about the same God here, because yours sounds kind of like a dick.

Post Reply