Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Some Lawmakers Question State Return on Development Bonds

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

Some Lawmakers Question State Return on Development Bonds

Article excerpt

The Associated Press

Some Kansas lawmakers are questioning how much benefit the state is getting for the millions of dollars it has spent over the past 16 years developing retail and tourism districts.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports that the state has spent more than $557 million in state sales tax revenue to repay Sales Tax and Revenue (STAR) bonds. Those bonds are a financing option in which municipalities issue bonds to pay the cost of roads and other infrastructure in new developments. Those bonds are repaid with new sales tax revenues generated by the projects.

But some STAR bond projects have not proved successful, specifically Heartland Park Topeka, a motorsports complex that was foreclosed on in 2015 but is now back in business.

Kansas lawmakers in the 2017 legislative session passed a three-year extension of the law authorizing STAR bonds. …

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