FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 18, 2007
1 cent sales tax for capital improvements on Nov. 6 ballot
Renewal of the City of Kansas City, Mo., 1 cent sales tax for capital improvements is up for public vote Nov. 6. The City Council voted unanimously to put the proposal, Kansas City Question #1, on the ballot. If the proposal passes, it would extend the sales tax for 10 years. The current sales tax will expire at the end of 2008.
The City’s sales tax program currently raises about $68 million per year for street and bridge repairs, storm drainage, park improvements, community centers and other capital improvement projects.
Kansas City Question #1 requires that 35 percent of revenues be dedicated to neighborhood improvement projects, a 10 percent increase from the previous tax. It also mandates that 15 percent of the tax revenues go to deferred infrastructure maintenance.
The City’s capital improvements program is guided by the Public Improvements Advisory Committee, a 13-member volunteer oversight group that receives, analyzes and prioritizes residents’ requests for improvements. City neighborhood groups and residents have requested 3,720 improvements through the committee in the past five years.
The committee sorts the requests and sets priorities for funding and makes recommendations to the City Council for final decisions on which projects to fund. The Council seldom changes the committee’s recommendations.
Under the sales tax program, about one-half of the total cost of capital improvements comes from city residents. About one-third of sales tax revenues come from people who don’t live within the city limits. The sales tax income also triggers state and federal matching funds – about $25 million per year.
A simple majority vote is required to extend the 1 cent sales tax for 10 years.