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The Power & Light My Money on Fire District | 980 At Night
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The Power & Light My Money on Fire District

Forget the national bailout plans everyone is talking about…Let’s take a look at how the economy is affecting us in Kansas City…

The Power & Light District is expected to generate a puny $4.8 million in tax revenues this fiscal year. That is far short of the $16.8 million in annual debt service needed to pay for its bonds.

This comes from an online column from Yael T. Abouhalkah over at Midwest Voices of the Kansas City Star. Now, this sort of “crisis” may not measure up to that of The Big 3, but to those of us who live in Kansas City, especially those of us who live Downtown, this is fairly frightening. Why? According to Abouhalkah:

Fortunately, the city previously has set aside an additional $8 million for the bond payments. That leaves a net shortfall of “only” $4 million that will come from the pockets of taxpayers this fiscal year.

That’s bad news for neighborhood residents. Every extra tax dollar plowed into the Power & Light District is a dollar less available for providing services to residents.

Government bailout? Let’s talk about a taxpayer’s bailout for, essentially, a bar district! Ha! Anyone who thought the P&L District would re-vitalize Downtown, they were out of their minds. Now, granted, the Future of the area may be brighter, what with a grocery store, department stores and a movie theater. But for anyone walking around Downtown, that Future is hard to see.

Basically, the District needs to create “$20 million in tax revenues to pay off the new projected annual debt service.” Now, I pride myself in my mathematic skills. That means the District where you go to get lunch once in awhile needs to generate four times as much tax revenue as it did this year. That could happen if the Future gets implemented sooner than later.

Abouhalkah blames former Mayor Kay Barnes.

If the district fails to lure much extra tax money at all, many more millions in taxpayers funds would have to be allocated for Power & Light debt payments.

That’s not how former Mayor Kay Barnes and other supporters sold the project earlier this decade. Back then they predicted it would generate enough money to pay for its annual debt service.

Wow. Thanks Kay. This is the same Kay that the Kansas City Star said would be so needed in Washington (remember Kay lost her Congressional race to Sam Graves a couple of weeks ago).

3 Comments on “The Power & Light My Money on Fire District”

  1. #1 Tracy A.
    on Nov 27th, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    I didn’t think the P&L was ever a good idea, and I voted against the Sprint Arena (car rental) sales tax; however, it is interesting to see these numbers and hear that revenues need to quadruple to make the bond payments — because I ate at a P&L location exactly once in 2008. It was a business lunch, and the host chose (and paid). I have never gone to a bar there or out for dinner in P&L. I am torn between my principles (and my lack of enthusiasm for upscale chain restaurants) and my wish to see my city not fail (as much as usual).

    Would three more meals cost me less than the neighborhood services (in terms of dollars used and the difficult-to-measure quality of life lost)? Would it make me feel sleazy to spend money someplace I don’t condone and consider fake?

  2. #2 chuck
    on Nov 28th, 2008 at 12:45 pm

    Ha, that’s interesting…Let’s all go spend money in the P&L District, and maybe we won’t have to pay the taxes in the long run? Interesting point, Tracy.

  3. #3 Free Popsicles and Back Rubs – The Right Track
    on Dec 3rd, 2008 at 10:57 am

    [...] the urban campers sleeping by dumpsters? Maybe the alarming homicide rate all around us? Maybe the taxpayer bailout for the P&L District that seems to be inevitable? It’s almost becoming old to keep talking about [...]

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