STAR bonds

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — A legal dispute between two business partners has stalled the construction of a sports complex partially funded by $25.4 million in sales tax money.

That fight over finances, and the pending lawsuit it spawned, could jeopardize the completion of Sports of the World. The project is financed by Kansas Sales Tax Revenue Bonds, or STAR bonds, and championed as a regional tourist draw for western Kansas.

Corinne Boyer / Kansas News Service

GARDEN CITY, Kansas — On the last day of September, a bulldozer scooped dirt from an empty field between a hotel and a fence separating the land from a house-lined street in Garden City.

In 18-24 months, a massive $41 million sports complex, called Sports of the World, is slated to open at this site, with courts of all kinds — pickleball, basketball, volleyball. There’ll be a trampoline park and an outdoor recreation area with cornhole and a life-sized Battleship game. It’s expected to host cheerleading, wrestling and other sports tournaments, drawing in people from Colorado, Oklahoma and Texas.

Kansas lawmakers, increasingly skeptical that tax breaks deliver economic wins, looked closely this week at economic incentive programs.

Senators on the Commerce Committee spent several days discussing bills that would add new requirements to sales tax revenue bonds, known as STAR bonds.

STAR bonds allow local governments to borrow money for a building project, and tax collections created by the development are diverted to pay off the loans.