Departure of Wal-Mart leaves TIF developers on the hook, not the city

Any shortfall in tax revenue caused by the closing of the Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market at 13th and Oliver this week will not cost city taxpayers, said Wichita City Manager Bob Layton.
… the one at 13th and Oliver is in special tax district called a tax increment financing district to encourage redevelopment. In this TIF district, the city spent $2.5 million to help cover the cost of buying the property and repaving the parking lot.

Renovating the shopping center was supposed to increase property values and generate more property taxes, which would be used to repay the city’s cost.

The city has been embarrassed a few times when TIF projects didn’t generate enough new tax revenue and taxpayers had to make up the difference. The city has since instituted contractual guarantees that a developer make up any shortfalls.

And that’s what’s happening this time, Layton said this week.

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