Fulfilling our mission. Developing the city.
We’re different than most public organizations in that we don’t receive annual tax allocations from the city or state’s general fund. But to fulfill our mission, we need a revenue stream to support our operations, capital investments and projects. One way we earn revenue is through our development tools. These tools were established by the state of Missouri – and the state outlined how and why the tools are to be used.
So what does Missouri enable us to do?
If a project falls within our mission, we can use the development tools established to encourage local economic growth. To start, the state has tasked us with improving port infrastructure and growing river commerce. We can also own, develop, construct and maintain land in Kansas City for a number of purposes that include residential, commercial, mixed-use, recreation, industrial and port facilities. Our tools can save and renovate underutilized buildings, buildings of historic value and blighted properties. We can use them to advance riverfront development. And we can help create and connect transportation services like rail, truck and barge.
Port Improvement District
We call Port Improvement Districts PIDS and have the authority to create them. To do this, we define the district and get Commission approval. If approved, a 1 percent sales tax is implemented within the boundaries of the district. Only users and tenants within the PID pay the tax. The tax collected is returned to the PID to make improvements. We have four PIDs: Berkley Riverfront, the Isle of Capri, Corrigan Station and the Board of Trade Building.
AIM Zones were introduced about five years ago to provide port authorities with a revenue stream to fund infrastructure. They are exclusive to port authorities in Missouri.
The program gives the port the ability to receive 50 percent of the state taxes derived from any net-new jobs in an AIM zone.
The port authority can then reimburse a portion to businesses or agencies that created the jobs. To make the reimbursement, by our policy, there must be a sufficient nexus between the project and the statutory mandate of port authorities
The port authority uses the other portion to reinvest in Kansas City’s infrastructure. We require that all AIM Zones be structured so we collect enough revenue to make significant reinvestment.
We can issue Chapter 68 Port Authority Revenue Bonds to finance development and redevelopment projects. They work by providing certain percentages of exemption on projects that have illustrated need and will create economic growth. In short, these projects must generate taxes for the city and/or create quality jobs.
But how does this process work? First, the developer will reach out to Port KC to complete an application. Often, the developer is referred to us through other agencies of the city and state. We will then evaluate and negotiate the project. If we accept the project, our Commission must approve the project itself – and the project structure. We commonly include requirements for job creation and community benefit to the local workforce.
When it comes time to issue the bonds, we own the land and lease it to the borrower. Throughout the duration of the bonds, we monitor compliance. At the end of the exemption, all responsibility for the land returns to the developer.
Mid-Continent EB-5 Regional Center
Our partnership with the EB-5 Regional Center allows us to participate in the EB-5 foreign investment program, which is designed to attract international investment in capital projects that create jobs. Its purpose is to provide an alternative funding source to construct and develop new large-scale projects. Qualified foreign investors that make a minimum $1 million investment ($500,000 for rural areas) and create at least 10 full-time jobs receive priority status for a permanent visa.
Developers interested in EB-5 financing in Kansas City, Missouri can contact Zoraya Rowlands at firstname.lastname@example.org
Transportation Facilities Tax Incentive
This incentive creates income tax deductions for entities transporting cargo through water port and airport facilities.The port and airport must be located in Kansas City, MO to qualify and must ship a minimum of 75 net tons of cargo. They must also increase cargo shipped through a port 5% over the previous year or ship at least 25,000 TEUs through a new port.