Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback last week signed a measure extending the state’s STAR sales tax revenue bond program through June 2017.

The economic development bond program would have expired at the end of fiscal 2012 on June 30 without the five-year extension that was approved by the Legislature on the final day of this year’s session.

STAR bonds are issued by local governments, with state approval, to finance large entertainment and shopping districts.

The 20-year bonds are supported by state and local sales tax revenues that are generated within such a legally defined district. The Unified Government of Wyandotte County and Kansas City has issued almost $500 million of STAR bonds since 2001 for projects, including a large shopping district, a motor racetrack and a major league soccer stadium.

The combined city-county government has authority to issue another $225 million for a retail complex near a large water park, but the debt has not been issued.

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