The City of Wichita funnels your tax dollars into “non-profit” development groups that refuse to show us how that money is spent, and now the City wants you to vote in favor of a sales tax increase so they can give these organizations even more of your money.
These groups, Go Wichita, The Downtown Development Corporation, and the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, get roughly 90% of their overall funding from Wichita tax dollars, but claim that they are exempt from the Kansas Open Records Act, because they are “private” organizations.
The City of Wichita could easily place conditions on the money it gives to these groups, requiring them to show taxpayers how their tax dollars are being spent, but the City refuses to do so. This is not transparency.
For years, members of the Wichita business community, and even one former city councilor, have requested that these groups open their books to show how they are spending Wichita tax dollars, and for years, these groups have flatly refused to do so.
How can the taxpayers of Wichita determine if their money is being spent effectively when these groups do not disclose what is being purchased? What do these groups have to hide? What do we have to show for the millions of dollars that these groups have already received?
These are all questions that the City of Wichita needs to answer before they ask the taxpayers to fork over more money. Why would anyone vote to increase the sales tax, when the City won’t tell us what it does with the money it already has?
Voting “no” this November will send a strong message to the Mayor and the City Council, and more importantly, to the next mayor, and those who will soon be elected to the council, that we expect transparency. No transparency, no money!