DALLAS — The Kansas Department of Commerce has offered an incentive package of tax revenues, tax credits, and cash totaling $229.5 million to sponsors of a proposed $414 million entertainment and office building development in a Kansas City suburb.
The proposal from Commerce Secretary David Kerr includes $144.5 million in sales tax revenue, or STAR, bond assistance for a soccer stadium for the Kansas City Wizards of the Major Soccer League and $85 million in tax credits and grants.
If the offer is accepted, the Unified Government of Wyandotte County/Kansas City, Kan., can use up to $144.5 million of state and local sales tax revenues generated on site to support STAR bonds for the stadium.
The state’s offer requires the use of local sales tax revenues to support debt issued for the stadium project.
The current combined state and local sales tax rate in Wyandotte County is 7.48%.
The proposed development also includes a large office campus that would be occupied by Cerner Corp., a medical software and technology company currently based in North Kansas City, Mo.
The company said the move would bring 4,500 new jobs to Kansas at an average annual salary of $65,000.
The $85 million in financial incentives for the $149.6 million office complex includes cash incentives, job and capital investment tax credits, training funds, and sales tax exemptions.
Other elements in the project include a $47 million amateur soccer complex and a $14.3 million hotel. Neither would receive local or state financial incentives.
The sales tax bonds would be issued by the local government but require approval from the state because the program diverts 100% of state and local sales taxes generated by a project to debt service and other eligible costs.
The proposed 18,500-seat stadium would be the new permanent home of the Wizards.
Robb Heineman, president of OnGoal LLC, which owns the professional soccer team, said the state’s proposal is generous but he wants to take a close look at the offer before accepting or rejecting it.
“The state’s offer includes stipulations related to financing not found in previous STAR bond approvals,” Heineman said. “We need to now take time to put all of these requirements into a greater context and allow for review by our team, legal, and bond counsel.”
OnGoal and development partner Lane4 Property Group had originally sought $173 million of STAR bond assistance, but reduced the total to $155 million after negotiations with the state.
Unified Government Mayor Joe Reardon said the state’s offer requires additional review and analysis because it is a different mix of financial incentives than was requested. However, he was optimistic that the financial issued can be resolved quickly.
“The first major piece in making this development a reality was to receive authorization for the use of STAR bonds,” Reardon said. “That has been accomplished. The remaining details of the project will be worked out in the weeks to come.”
The project would be built in western Wyandotte County.