Archive for Thursday, August 21, 2003

Basehor officials considering excise tax waiver for prospect

August 21, 2003

Basehor city officials "would consider waiving" the excise tax should a proposed multi-million dollar distribution center choose the city as a location, according to a response letter.

Last week, Basehor city officials, the Leavenworth County Commission and Leavenworth Area Development (LAD) representatives discussed the mysteriously dubbed "Project Rhino," a large distribution and processing center, which is being developed by an as-yet unnamed company.

Wadley-Donovan Group, a national location consulting firm, contacted Leavenworth Area Development seeking possible locations for the business, and Basehor fits some of the criteria the company seeks.

Last week's meeting between the sides was to gauge the city's interest in the project and what incentives could be offered to the development.

A response letter from Basehor city officials, sent last week, indicates city officials are interested in the project.

"The city is very dedicated to growth and prosperity of our community and this project would fit very well into out growth plans," according to the city's response.

According to information provided by the Wadley-Donovan Group, the company pursuing the distribution and process center is looking for site characteristics including a tract between 90 to 120 acres, direct or nearby access to an interstate highway, fully serviced with utilities and zoned industrial.

Basehor is only one of several possible site locations for the proposed business. Locations in Nebraska, Iowa and Kentucky are also under consideration.

Waiving the excise tax for the business could help edge out some of the competition, city officials said. On a 120-acre site, the business would pay approximately $470,000 in excise tax.

That's nearly half a million dollars the company wouldn't pay at other locations competing for the distribution center, city officials said.

Under the excise tax ordinance, city officials can waive the fee if developers agree to fund street improvements to their development.

The letter also promotes Basehor's neighborhood revitalization program, an incentive which abates 50 percent of property taxes for five years if a property is improved by more than 50 percent of its overall valuation.

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