Thursday, August 23, 2012

Streetcar district taxes to be decided by mail ballot

Posted By on Thu, Aug 23, 2012 at 10:51 AM

More mail ballots will decide the streetcars fate.
  • More mail ballots will decide the streetcar's fate.

Downtown residents will make another major decision about the streetcar taxing district by mail. Earlier this month, downtown voters approved the creation of the transportation development district. Of 6,000 eligible voters, only 474 mailed in ballots, which had to be notarized. The vote was 381 for and 141 against.

This week, Mayor Sly James and the board of the Kansas City Downtown Streetcar Transportation Development District approved the sales- and property-tax increases for the district. Voters will be asked on the ballots to approve the taxes that would fund the majority of the $100 million, two-mile streetcar. A Jackson County judge will have to approve the ballot before it is mailed to voters.

The Business Journal reports that the increases include a one-cent sales tax, that commercial properties will be taxed 48 cents per $100 of their value, and that residential owners would pay 70 cents per $100. The city owns many buildings in the district and will have to pay an assessment of $1.04 per $100 of assessed value on the properties. Parking-lot owners would pay 15 cents per space per day.

Once a judge approves the ballots, voters will have until October 20 to request a ballot. The deadline to mail ballots in will be December 20.

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