State’s promise on Capital Plaza property taxes delayed

The state’s written promise to put some Capital Plaza land back on local property tax rolls won’t be ready until later this month. As late as this week, City Attorney Laura Ross and County Attorney Rick Sparks were still hammering out details of a new draft memorandum of agreement that local officials previously said would […]

The state’s written promise to put some Capital Plaza land back on local property tax rolls won’t be ready until later this month.

As late as this week, City Attorney Laura Ross and County Attorney Rick Sparks were still hammering out details of a new draft memorandum of agreement that local officials previously said would be ready for approval in January or early February.

“We will be working with the state and our respective government officials to finalize the agreement and move toward adoption in March,” Ross said in a text message.

Originally announced in October by Finance and Administration Cabinet Secretary William Landrum, the memorandum of agreement would answer calls from Frankfort residents for a commitment, in writing, that the state will return land on which the Frankfort Convention Center and Fountain Place Shops once sat to city tax rolls.

“I stated from the outset I wanted something in writing,” Landrum told members of the Capital Development Committee in October before promising to send a draft memorandum of agreement within 10 days. “I did not want it just to be hearsay.”

That original draft was rejected over a disagreement about what the “best mechanism” would be to return the property to city tax rolls, Sparks told The State Journal.

In his remarks at the time, Landrum raised the possibility of using a public-private partnership, or P3. As part of a potential P3 deal, the state would legally turn over ownership of the land directly to a private developer, with certain restrictions on how the land is to be used, Landrum previously told The State Journal.

“There will also be in writing in the proposed MOA a land conveyance commitment decision, which I have told the judge and the mayor all along that it is my intent to — it has always been from day one — to return this public property to the private sector to put it back on the tax rolls to help schools, help businesses throughout the community,” Landrum said in October. “I’m trying to reduce the footprint of state government and I will continue to do that as long as I have the ability to do it.”

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