Kansas City Question 2 is a $500 million revenue bond issue for the purpose of extending and improving the sanitary sewer system of the City, including compliance with the federally mandated Consent Decree for the Overflow Control Program, with the principal and interest of the bonds to be payable solely from the revenues derived by the City from the operation of its sanitary sewer system. There are no increases in property taxes or any other taxes in connection with this bond authorization.
By voting YES on Question 2, you will be authorizing the City to...
issue revenue bonds to begin upgrading Kansas City’s sewer system, as mandated by the federal government through a consent decree. The current system, which in some areas of the City is over 100 years old, allows sewage to mix with storm water run-off, polluting streams and rivers and potentially creating public health and safety issues.
By voting NO on Question 2, the City’s legal obligations to upgrade the sewer system will not be eliminated. It will be necessary to raise the money now before the projects can be built, rather than borrow the money through revenue bonds. This means the increase in rates that will be experienced to fix the sewer system to meet the Federal government’s requirements will be greater now than if bonds are issued.
Kansas City Questions 1 and 2 address varied services and improvements in Kansas City. Question 1 restores basic funding for operations and maintenance of our Parks System, not to its higher level of five years ago, but to a level that will allow the City to keep community centers open and operating for more hours; keep trees trimmed and the grass mowed. The collection of three existing property taxes or assessments is stopped and replaced by a 1/2 cent sales tax, which is paid by all shoppers, including people who visit or work here, but don’t live here.
Another component of this reform is the establishment of a permanent fund for street maintenance and repairs, with a set minimum of 7.5% of the revenue collected from the Earnings Tax, which nearly doubles the amount of money currently allocated to fixing our streets.
Question 2 authorizes the issuance of $500 million in revenue bonds to upgrade our sewer system, as mandated by the federal government, and will not increase any taxes, although customers will pay for the improvements through their wastewater rates. These bonds will be retired with revenue from operation of Kansas City’s sewer system.
Question 1 FAQsWhen is the election?
Tuesday, Aug. 7, 2012Who is qualified to vote in this election?
Residents of KCMO who are registered to vote at their current address.What is Kansas City Question 1?
Question 1 changes the way we fund the Kansas City parks system and street maintenance and repairs. By voting yes, the collection of three existing property taxes and assessments that are dedicated to the Parks and Recreation Department (which are paid by Kansas City residents only) is discontinued and the City Council will be forbidden to seek to reinstate the annual vehicle fee of $12.50 for each vehicle licensed in the City that has been paid for the past 20 years. A one half cent sales tax paid by all shoppers, including people who visit or work in Kansas City but don’t live here, is enacted.
This sales tax will be dedicated to the Parks System and replaces revenue from the property taxes and vehicle fee. This will provide a consistent funding source for parks and recreation, and also eliminates the current need for contributions from the City’s General Fund each year.Which property taxes and fees will be discontinued if voters approve this sales tax?
If voters approve Question 1, the following property taxes and fees will be discontinued:
• billing and collection of the traffic way maintenance tax
• billing and collection of the park maintenance tax
• billing and collection of the boulevard front foot assessment tax
• renewal of the (per) vehicle fee that funds community centers will be prohibitedIn addition to stable funding, will Question 1 establish a bigger dedicated street maintenance fund?
Question 1 will expand funding for street maintenance and repairs, with a dedicated source of revenue (7.5% of the Earnings Tax), which guarantees that a minimum amount of money each year will be used for this purpose. Because it is written into the ballot language, this cannot be changed without a vote of the people.What percentage of sales tax revenue in KCMO is paid by people who do not live here?
Approximately 1/3 of all sales taxes collected in Kansas City are paid by visitors and conventioneers, and by people who work in the city, but do not live here.Why are additional investments in the Parks and Recreation Department proposed?
The Parks and Recreation Department serves all residents of Kansas City, and additional funds will increase staff and programs at its facilities, including Community Centers; Additional funds will help the Parks and Recreation Department keep the City’s parks and boulevards clean and safe. The department’s budget has been reduced every year over the past four years and the additional money that would be raised by the passage of Question 1 would help restore a part of the funding that has been lost.What percentage of the vote is required to pass this issue?
A simple majority is required to pass both Kansas City Questions 1 and 2.
Question 2 FAQsWhat is Kansas City Question 2?
Question 2 allows the City to authorize $500 million in revenue bonds to upgrade its sanitary sewer system, as mandated by the federal government, to reduce the overflows of combined sewage and storm water. Why do we need to make these upgrades?
Federal laws and regulations require that cities with older infrastructures, like Kansas City, must change the way we capture, store and treat storm water and sewage. The City entered into an agreement with the federal government to make these improvements over the next 25 years, but there are progress deadlines along the way that the City must meet. The bond authority on the ballot in August will help the City meet its deadlines by providing for funding to begin projects now.How are the revenue bonds paid off?
These bonds will be retired with revenue generated from customers who use the City wastewater system, not from other taxes like property taxes.Will property taxes be increased to pay off these bonds?
No. There will be no increase in any taxes to pay off these bonds. The bonds will paid off by the charges paid by customers of the sewer system.What happens if voters don’t approve this bond authorization?
Sewer rates are rising to help pay for these upgrades to the system, estimated to cost $4.5 billion. Without bond authorization, sewer rates will have to rise even more to pay for all of the needed repairs and expansions. The use of revenue bonds will help moderate rate increases because the City can pay off the bonds over a longer period of time.Won’t interest on the bonds cause the project to cost more in the end?
With low interest rates today, it is less expensive to finance the project in this manner, as opposed to a ‘pay-as-you-go’ method wherein the City could miss certain deadlines set by the federal government to complete the project.How many jobs will be created as a result of this sewer bond issue?
It is estimated that the sewer project will create at least 15,000 jobs.