City Releases 2016 Economic Development Report

Porter ArneillCity

Cover of 2016 Economic Development ReportThe City of Lawrence has released its latest annual economic development report.  The 2016 Annual Report: Economic Development Support & Compliance reviews the annual performance of economic development programs, participating projects, and the public funds distributed for them during the year.  In addition to City contributions, a summary of County-only economic development programs is also included.

Report highlights include four 2016 property tax abatement projects that met all compliance requirements, delivering:

  • 72% more real property capital investment than projected ($6M projected, $10.3M delivered)
  • 3% more personal property investment than projected ($9.4M projected, $9.7M delivered)
  • 162% more full-time jobs than projected (142 projected, 372 created)
  • 24% higher wages than projected ($32,094 projected, $39,802 paid)
  • Average wages $8,480 higher than the private community wage
  • Average wages $13,594 higher wages than the community wage floor

In addition, these property tax abatement projects paid $194,837 in property taxes out of a total $341,955 due in 2016 ($147,117 abated).

Of the City’s seven authorized Neighborhood Revitalization Areas (NRA), five were eligible for rebates, with rebates totaling $110,300 for 2016. After rebates, taxing jurisdictions realized an average of 18.6% more real property tax revenues in 2016 compared to if these five properties had been left in original condition.

Nine companies had Industrial Revenue Bonds (IRB) in 2016, the majority of which were not affiliated with a property tax abatement, but rather were utilized to obtain a sales tax exemption on project construction materials.

The City continues to support three Tax Increment Financing (TIF) districts and three Transportation Development Districts (TDD).

  • Downtown 2000 TIF—funds 10th & New Hampshire City-owned parking garage
  • Oread TIF & TDD—partial reimbursement for public and transportation improvements related to The Oread Hotel project.
  • 9th & New Hampshire TIF & TDD—partial reimbursement for public and transportation improvements in South Project area (Hotel) and North Project area (mixed-use)
  • Free-State (Bauer Farm) TDD—partial reimbursement for transportation improvements in Free-State development area.

TIF distributions were approximately $788, 600 and TDD distributions were approximately $278,700 in 2016. (Not all amounts distributed for The Oread project were reimbursed in 2015 and 2016 due to a contractual dispute.)

Overall, 2016 PAYGO programs provided approximately $4.69 in private sector capital investment for each $1 of public sector assistance provided.

In addition to the PAYGO programs, the report also reviews direct public support provided for economic development services and projects, including grants, loans, capital investment, operations funding, relocation assistance, affordable housing, infrastructure assistance, technical education, and workforce training.

New this year, the report presents a brief overview of the economic climate for the community, profiling jobs, wages, and the balance between commercial and non-commercial community assets.

The City Commission will receive the report at their meeting on April 4, 2017 and refer it to the Public Incentives Review Committee (PIRC) for review and recommendation at their April 17, 2017 meeting.  The City Commission will then receive the report and PIRC recommendation at their May 2, 2017 meeting.

For more information, please contact Britt Crum-Cano, Economic Development Coordinator, 785-832-3472 or