The local chapter of the Americans For Prosperity anti-tax group is challenging Wichita’s plan to provide $30 million of incentives and bonds for a downtown hotel project.
The AFP said it would circulate petitions seeking a citywide vote on the development subsidy.
The Wichita City Council voted last week to rebate 75% of the city’s 6% hotel room tax to Douglas Place LLC for 15 years. The developer will build a 117-room hotel and a 282-vehicle parking lot in downtown Wichita.
The project financing includes $22 million of tax-exempt industrial revenue bonds and sales tax exemptions for furniture, fixtures and equipment.
“Thanks to this vote, Wichita taxpayers will be paying for a development which should be funded privately,” AFP spokeswoman Susan Estes said at a news conference announcing the petition drive.
The Sedgwick County Election Commission said the group has 60 days since the ordinance was passed to gather signatures from 2,528 registered voters, 10% of the last electoral turnout. If enough signatures are collected, the county would have to call an election within 90 days.
If a special election is called, the development group would pay the estimated $50,000 cost under its agreement with the city.