City staff recommendation puts Coleman tax exemption in jeopardy

Wichita city staff is recommending against giving the Coleman Co. another year's exemption from taxes on millions of dollars in industrial revenue bonds issued between 2001 and 2004.

The Wichita City Council will take up the issue tomorrow.

According to the city's urban development staff, Coleman has fallen short in its promise to hire 200 additional workers as part of the reinvestment it made with the bond money.

Coleman officials respond that its payroll has risen by $5 million, although its head count has fallen short, as it has become more of a headquarters and less of a manufacturing plant.

The council has granted Coleman one-year exemptions in the past even though it didn't meet requirements.