Kansas Supreme Court allows City of Topeka to back out of Heartland Motorsports Park ownership

Local News

(KSNT Photo/Keith Horinek)

TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – The Kansas Supreme Court has allowed the City of Topeka to back out of a contract with Heartland Motorsports Park without facing a lawsuit, according to an announcement Friday.

The decision from the Kansas Supreme Court comes after both the Court of Appeals and the Shawnee County District Court both reviewed a lawsuit filed by the private owners of the Heartland Motorsports Park in south Topeka. In “Jayhawk Racing Properties, LLC and Heartland Park Raceway, LLC v. City of Topeka, Kansas,” the owners said the City of Topeka backed out of an agreement to take ownership of the speedway.

The city would have paid for the ownership rights through Sales Tax and Revenue bonds. After the agreement fell through, the owners of Heartland Motorsports Park filed a lawsuit for damages claiming the city breached their contract.

The Shawnee County District Court sided with the City of Topeka and moved to dismiss the case, but the Court of Appeals reversed the decision and moved for the lawsuit on the breach of contract to move forward. The Supreme Court, however, again dismissed the case.

“The court held city revenue projects may be divided into two categories: projects that serve a governmental or legislative function, and projects that serve a proprietary or administrative function. The development, introduction, or improvement of services are, by and large, considered governmental, and the power to levee a tax generally belongs to the class of governmental power. One city council may not bind a subsequent one to its political decisions involving the exercise of government functions, so the new city council was not obligated to carry out the terms of the agreement.”

Kansas Supreme Court

Watch archived video from the oral argument on the case in the Supreme Court below:

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