Sharp divide over tax incentives marks discussion at forum for Overland Park mayoral candidates

Mayoral candidate Charlotte O'Hara said Overland Park's tax policy had given huge benefits to large companies that small businesses would never be able to access.
Mayoral candidate Charlotte O’Hara said Overland Park’s tax policy had given huge benefits to large companies that small businesses would never be able to access.

Depending on whose take you’re inclined to believe, the use of tax incentives in Overland Park is either a key part to the city’s continued growth and success or a ticking time bomb that will leave its tax base in shambles.

Incumbent Carl Gerlach pointed to Overland Park's top rankings on lists about the best places to raise a family as proof of the city's successes in recent years.
Incumbent Carl Gerlach pointed to Overland Park’s top rankings on lists about the best places to raise a family as proof of the city’s successes in recent years.

Overland Park mayor Carl Gerlach and challenger Charlotte O’Hara squared off Wednesday in a forum hosted by the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce that saw the candidates paint starkly different pictures of the city’s financial stability. Gerlach, who is running for his fourth term atop the state’s second largest city, pointed to high quality of life indicators and the lowest property tax rate of any large city in Kansas as proof that Overland Park was heading in the right direction.