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FY 2015 Defense Spending By State report now available for download.

Great Plains hopes new law will boost growth in Labette County

Barriers to the development of the Great Plains Industrial Park are slowly crumbling, paving the way for potential economic growth in Labette County.

With hazardous waste cleanup of the former Kansas Army Ammunition Plant property completed in most areas of the park, Great Plains staff hoped at least one piece of legislation would be passed in the Legislature to provide incentives to businesses to locate in Parsons.

The legislation had unanimous support from the Kansas House and Senate. Earlier this week, Gov. Sam Brownback signed House Bill 2212 (formerly HB 2230), allowing it to become law Saturday.

“We’re pretty excited about this deal, that’s for sure. It was a lot of work and effort,” Great Plains CEO Daniel Mann said. “This prior year’s legislative cycle we were working on this, so we’re really fortunate to have support and get this thing done this year.

“Over the past few years in this position, I’ve worked with a number of companies looking at locating at Great Plains and one of the challenges we face is having these older, specific use-type structures and trying to find a fair market value to lease these properties. Most of the prospects and businesses have a preferred interest in leasing the property versus owning the property,” for various reasons, Mann said, including environmental use controls placed on the property that follow the deed into perpetuity.

One problem Great Plains has confronted is that Kansas laws that provide business incentives focused on companies buying properties and excluded companies leasing properties. One example is allowing tax exemptions for new businesses locating in the area.

“In many states I previously worked in, you could do third party agreements, where the owner would go to the local jurisdiction and ask for an exemption and be granted that exemption and they would pass those savings on to the leasee in a third party agreement,” Mann said. “In the state of Kansas you could not do that. The state constitution prohibited that. The way it is drafted is it has to be by the owner who is granted that exemption and it has to be for their exclusive use. Since we are an exempt body there is no benefit.”

Read the complete article here.

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The information above is for general awareness only and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Office of Economic Adjustment or the Department of Defense as a whole.