Kansas Supreme Court hears case involving Heartland Park ownership

Published: Sep. 14, 2020 at 6:12 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - The Kansas Supreme Court heard arguments Monday, in the City of Topeka’s appeal over a lawsuit From Jayhawk Racing Properties.

Jayhawk Racing Properties claimed the city breached its contract, by not following through on an agreement to buy the heartland park property, and take on the organization’s debt.

The District Court previously dismissed the lawsuit but the Court of Appeals reversed the decision.

The Supreme Court will decide if the city can be held to a contractual agreement to issue sales tax revenue (STAR) bonds to finance the property.

“There is no reasonable basis that these bonds couldn’t have been issued, when we talk about a political issue it’s just that the city changed its mind. The city under paragraph eight didn’t maintain the right to just change its mind, the city had an obligation to go forward, to do all it could reasonably, commercially reasonably to issue those bonds.” said Wes Wathers who was representing Jayhawks Racing Properties.

“The good faith duty can apply to those sort of administrative steps the city has to take but it can’t apply to the ultimate decision to issue those bonds because as we fully briefed and as the court is aware, the district court correctly held the issuance of the bonds is a governmental function and the city has to maintain full and absolute discretion over that final act and decision.” said Catherine Logan who represented the city of Topeka.

The court is not expected to issue its decision for several weeks.

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