Project plan

Secret Billion-Dollar Megaproject Plan Gets Panel Approval

TOPEKA, (KSNT) — Kansas lawmakers are considering a secret billion-dollar megaproject that is expected to create thousands of jobs in the state.

The economic development bill targets a massive $4 billion company that could move to Kansas. The company is being kept secret for legal reasons, but is said to provide up to 4,000 jobs.

The Senate Commerce Committee approved the plan Tuesday night.

However, some lawmakers say the bill needs rework in some areas.

Sen. Caryn Tyson, R-Parker, who sits on the committee, said without change it could leave the state in a position where it has to refund income tax money.

“Income tax is refundable, which means the business could repay more than it paid,” Tyson said. “That means the state of Kansas would write them a check. So we have to look closely at this legislation. It’s not something you should be trying to pass quickly.

Other lawmakers on the panel are also concerned about some of the incentives offered to the company.

Sen. Renee Erickson, R-Wichita, who chairs the committee, said that includes property tax incentives, wage incentives, and training and education incentives.

“There are parts of this bill that people like on both sides of the aisle and parts that they don’t like, which is the epitome of why we should have a compromise of the across the aisle,” said Senator Erickson.

The company is also considering other states, so some say it’s important to act quickly or the opportunity could be missed.

Sen. Jeff Pittman, D-Leavenworth, said it’s important for the state to be competitive.

“We have entities that invest huge amounts of capital into the state of Kansas, typically from out of state,” he said. “These mega projects, we lose them. We’ve lost something like 12 different megaprojects in the last 3 years.

The bill is expected to be tabled in the Senate for debate.

To follow the entire meeting, Click here.