Sunday, August 19, 2007

Topic Updates

I just wanted to take a few seconds to update some previous entries.

A venture capital firm is financing the reacquisition of Midwest Airlines stock. This means that AirTran will no longer be a suitor for my favorite airline. As the media so quickly pointed out...the cookie has been saved. As I previously mentioned. Midwest can keep the cookies. I really don't care about that. What I care about is the four across leather seats, the 24 rows per plane, the frequent non-stops from Kansas City to several of my favorite locations. What the airline industry needs is not another Southwest Airlines. That's what a combined AirTran/Midwest would become. The airline industry needs differentiation. I don't mind flying in the cattle-cars know as Southwest Airlines to get to St. Louis quickly or to get to a specific airport. However, I don't think I'll ever forget how nice and how relaxing it was to fly non-stop KC to LA on Midwest on the first day of my vacation last January. I will always fly Midwest when possible. And yes...they CAN keep the cookie, they can charge a premium for the better service and the better experience. Whenever I can, I will fly Midwest and you should too!

TIFs and personal property tax. I took a little heat recently for being on a TIF commission in Liberty. We approved a $70,000,000 TIF for a development in Liberty. Previously, the overlay had been for much less and the plan had always been to create a TIF district, and then to create a replacement once the developer was in place. What made a huge difference in this case was that the TIF was on land that was in part a junk yard (requiring remediation) and another part that was fields that required massive infrastructure improvement. There was practically no personal property that was taxable on those parcels. Now there will be...a lot of personal property...all of which is taxable. So, even though the schools and libraries are giving up the increment, the personal property tax benefit is going to be many, many times more than if there was no development. Sometimes TIF is a good thing.

Sometime, I'll write about the party switching and Chris Koster. However, suffice to say, this doesn't surprise me. At this point, Missouri, Kansas, and the U.S. at large is very sharply divided. The Goldwater Republicans, the same people who created the Reagan Revolution, have discovered that there is no place for them in the Republican party. And, I really don't blame these people for not flocking to the Democratic party as it stands today. Something is bound to change. I can't believe that this will mean that good financial conservatives will flock to the Democratic party. These folks can't stand for the loony left of the party, and I can't say that I blame them. So, I see a split sometime soon. My hope is that the far left will split off and the Democrats will move to the center.

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