Thursday, December 18, 2008

Development officials see opportunity in downturn...

That's the headline of this article linked here.

Now is the time to start thinking about smarter economic development, Vicki Pratt Gerbino said.

Gerbino, president of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, is floating a proposal for local government and business leaders to create a new strategic plan for the region's economic development effort.

"What we don't have is a plan that flies at 30,000 feet," she said.

It is well passed time to begin efforts for smarter economic development locally.

She sees the plan as examining the kind of projects and programs needed to attract and retain the most -- and most desirable -- companies.

One example, she said, is that many people have told her the area's property taxes are outrageously high.

That's not true -- she comes from western New York, where property taxes are much higher -- but the perception must be taken seriously.

To lower property taxes, some communities have shifted toward a sales tax. To make a sales tax really work for a community means boosting tourism, shopping and convention traffic.

And that, she said, would mean more dollars spent on projects to lure tourists and travelers.

These are discussions that should happen now, she said, because the coalition's workload has eased as the economy has slowed.

I didn't emphasize convention traffic because we don't really have large conventions in Kingman.

I'm done with this type of posting... until I find more in spare moments.

No comments: