Streetcar District Expansion Goes Down Hard, 60-40

Kansas City Mayor Sly James says Tuesday night’s defeat of a plan to expand the city’s streetcar district “stings”.
The proposal to extend the current 2 mile starter line to the east and south was easily defeated.
Final results posted by the Kansas City Election Board showed the measure losing. The measure lost, gathering 39.67% of the vote.
The measure faced opposition from citizens who opposed the idea of using a sales tax to fund the $500 million local portion of the plan. They believed it would hurt some of Kansas City’s poorest residents and neighborhoods because a sales tax is not based on the ability to pay.
Others say the city has more pressing needs that expanding a streetcar line.
The defeat is one of the biggest setbacks for Mayor Sly James, who has enjoyed a relatively successful first term.
City Councilman Jermaine Reed says he expects the city to return to voters with a larger pan in the near future.
Had others approved expanding the streetcar taxing district Tuesday, it would have set up another streetcar vote in November.
That vote would have actually authorized the one cent sales tax and the assessment policies for those who live in expanded streetcar district.
The result Tuesday does not affect the 2-mile starter line running through the city’s River Market district, through downtown to the Union Station area.
That line has been approved by voters and construction is already underway.
The starter line is expected to be operating in late 2015.

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