Archive for Thursday, June 17, 2004

Decision on tax waiver looms

June 17, 2004

It's a tough decision Basehor City Council members face.

Should they waive hundreds of thousands of dollars in excise tax money because of the extent of improvements developers are making or follow the letter of the law and charge the tax regardless?

Such is the predicament surrounding a request from developers of Honey Creek Farms, a mixed-use development on 166th Street. Developers have asked the city waive approximately $262,727 in excise tax because of $769,000 they are making in improvements to the surrounding areas.

"You could look at this thing two ways and you'd be right both ways," Basehor city administrator David Fuqua said.

The excise tax is a 9-cents-per-square-foot fee applied to new construction in Basehor. Funds gained from the excise tax are used to pay for the improvement of city streets. In 2002, voters approved implementation of the levy.

The City Council discussed the issue during a work session Monday night without reaching a consensus. They are slated to vote on the item June 28.

Honey Creek Farms developers are upgrading streets on 166th and 171st streets and to the intersection of U.S. Highway 24/40 and 166th Street.

Unless the City Council approves the waiver, Honey Creek Farms developers would owe $171,774 for the residential and $90,953 for the commercial acreage inside the 71-acre development.

The city could choose to waive the commercial portion of the development from the excise tax, the residential land or both, Fuqua said.

Developers initially broached the idea in May.

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