Lynne Hermansen
Special to The Gardner News
Council members passed a resolution for 48 million in Internal Revenue Bonds for the New Trails Multifamily apartment project. The resolution also grants a property tax exemption and authorized the form of a PILOT agreement.
The proposed development is part of the 262 acre mixed use development known as GRATA near 175th and I-35.
A public hearing was held with no speakers, but Todd Winters, mayor, read an email from resident Adrianna Dalke.
Dalke said she wanted council members and staff to have a detailed discussion about the tax benefits they would receive and some insight as to why it was fully funded.
“The ROIs published on the city’s website are negligible at best to taxpayers—perhaps there are other numbers staff will be sharing that weren’t published as part of the city’s website,” she said. “And some insight on to why this being fully funded from the city when there has been no movement on the commercial property.”
Matt Wolff, finance director, and Tyler Ellsworth, bond counsel, presented a brief cost benefit analysis.
Wolff said the basic proposal was for 280 units with 48 million requested by the developers with a sales tax exemption for materials.
“From the city’s perspective it’s adding to housing and our growing population,” he said.
Ellsworth said to add to Wolf’s overview the IRB was a financing structure for the developer.
“The city is not borrowing 48 million in debt,” he said. “It’s helpful to make clear.”
Ellsworth said under Kansas law they were required to hold a public hearing and cost benefit analysis for any property tax abatement.
“1.3 to 1 is considered baseline,” he said. “The higher the net the more benefit to taxpayers.”
Ellsworth said each tax jurisdiction from the city, school district, fire district, county and state the benefit costs exceeded the 1.3 to 1 ratio.
The complete detailed Resolution 2099 can be found on the city’s website.