Kansas City voters asked to approve one-eighth-cent sales tax to - KCTV5

Kansas City voters asked to approve one-eighth-cent sales tax to help small area of city

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Kansas Citians will see five questions on the upcoming April 4 ballot, and one of them is raising taxes. (KCTV5) Kansas Citians will see five questions on the upcoming April 4 ballot, and one of them is raising taxes. (KCTV5)
KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Kansas Citians will see five questions on the upcoming April 4 ballot, and one of them is raising taxes.

Next week, Kansas Citians will be asked to raise the sales tax to help a small area of the city. Supporters of the measure say helping one district helps the city as a whole.

"They, for years, have supported other tax increases for things like the zoo and other things throughout Kansas City, and now it's time we take care of our core," said Quinton Lucas, councilman for the 3rd district at large.

That core is this section of the city from Ninth Street to the north, Gregory Boulevard to the south, The Paseo to the west and Indiana Avenue to the east.

Lucas says this area of the city is losing population and it's in need to a boost.

Areas like Prospect Avenue and blighted sections of the 3rd district are the goal for monies from the one-eighth-cent sales tax increase.

"It's not something that is saying, 'We're going to build a giant bridge or a police station.' Kind of what we are used to in Kansas City," Lucas said.

The tax has a short timeframe compared to the three other money questions on the ballot. The increase is set to expire after 10 years. 

Currently, there is no organized opposition to the ballot question. However, Mayor Sly James has not vocally supported the increase.

Voters in Lee's Summit will have a very long ballot to sort through.

There are 12 city charter amendments. One would remove the mayor's veto power but allow the mayor to vote. Currently, the only way the mayor can vote is if there is a tie.

"The veto power has only been used a couple of times in the last 20 years of whenever the first charter was created. So many communities in Missouri, the mayor votes participates in the conversation and debate and traditionally votes in the last position,"  said Tim Arbeiter, president of Lee's Summit Chamber of Commerce.

Also on the ballot is continuing the half-cent sales tax that's been in place since 1997. Voters have to renew the tax every 10 years which pays for public works projects. This time they're asking for something extra.

"The one thing that is different is we asked for a 15-year sunset this time instead of a 10-year sunset and the extra five years to allow for more planning," said Kent Kirby, president of Friends of Lee's Summit, a group supporting the tax.

All of this will be on Tuesday ballot. KCTV5 News will be bringing you up-to-date elections results on-air and on our mobile app.

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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