Downtown voters approve streetcar funding taxes - KCTV5 News

Downtown voters approve streetcar funding taxes

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The proposed streetcar taxes have been approved, meaning Kansas City is one step closer to having its own streetcar system. It would provide downtown Kansas City with a two-mile streetcar route along Main Street from the City Market to Union Station.

The election board announced the certified streetcar election results Wednesday afternoon, saying 351 downtown residents voted for and 198 voted against a 1-cent sales tax increase in the district, as well as 344 voted for and 206 voted against raising property taxes to help pay for the streetcar system. This means 62 percent of the voters in the affected district chose to approve the taxes that would help fund the project.

Kansas City Mayor Sly James said the taxes will start to come out in 2013.

James said the new transportation is something the city couldn't afford to miss out on.

"All of these things are things that a city of our size, type and character have to have if we're going to grow," he said. "We're in a competition and that competition means that we have to start doing those things that make us competitive. It also allows us to attract that young talent that absolutely insists on these sorts of amenities."

Supporters said the streetcar would spur investments in businesses, offices and living spaces by giving people a way to get there who otherwise might not have transportation.

The city will start to procure vehicles and operators at the beginning of 2013.

If all goes as planned, construction on the $100 million project will begin in June 2013 and it will be transporting people in June 2015.

Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.)  All rights reserved.

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