Never afraid to let our opinions go unspoken, we thought we'd weigh in on Kansas City's upcoming election. The election will feature some highly contested issues and it is important that Kansas Citians make the right decisions.
First up, question 1:
Shall the City of Kansas City continue a city sales tax for the purposes of developing, operating, maintaining, equipping and improving a bus transit system by the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority for Kansas City, Missouri, as authorized by Section 94.605 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri at a rate of 3/8% for a period of 15 years?
No. When first passed, the 3/8% tax was supposed to be temporary, giving the KCATA time to get a system up and running that could be self maintained. Not only have they failed on that promise, but the KCATA has made every effort to circumvent the will of the people and kill a light rail plan that was overwhelmingly passed by KC voters in 2004. KC voters should vote NO on question 1. Let them come back with a shorter term than 15 years or provisions that would allow a redirection of the tax revenue to go towards the funding of a light rail project when it is approved by the city.
Shall the City of Kansas City, Missouri be authorized, for the purpose of reimbursing the City for administrative expenses related to the regulation and inspection of short term loan establishments and the issuance of permits for such businesses, to impose an annual fee of $1,000.00 for each permit (new or renewal) for a short term loan establishment or $500.00 for a permit issued with less than 6 months remaining in the calendar year?
Yes. Short term loan establishments, or payday loan/cash advance crooks as we like to call them, are sorely under regulated. We're definitely for the city forcing those businesses that pray on poor consumers to force those businesses to pay for their own regulation and not putting those costs on tax payers.
Question 3:Shall the City of Kansas City prohibit smoking in enclosed places of employment, enclosed public places and on public sidewalks abutting acute care hospitals, while allowing it in casino gaming areas until all casinos located in the Missouri counties of Jackson, Platte and Clay, and the Kansas counties of Johnson and Wyandotte are obligated by ordinance, statute or law to prohibit smoking within the casino areas where gambling games are allowed, as set forth in Ordinance No. 080073, for the purpose of promoting public health by decreasing citizen’s exposure to secondhand smoke and creating smoke free environments for workers and citizens through regulation in the work place and all public places?
No. Fact, smoking in bars and restaurants has already been banned before 9:00 pm. Fact, smoking at the sports complexes has already been restricted to the ramps. A yes vote would not only take away the private property rights of small business owners, but it would allow smoking in casinos indefinitely and open up smoking in the stadiums to the concourses where children are.
We at tKC are against any laws or amendments that take away our liberties and there are few liberties that are more precious than our personal property rights.
If we were to support any kind of federally mandated ban, it would be a ban that treats all people and entities under the law equally. A ban of smoking indoors should include all businesses, not exclude the ones owned by the very rich.
We also feel it is also unethical to outlaw the use of a product that is perfectly legal to purchase. We'd like to see some registered Kansas City voters, who'd really want to make a statement, draft an amendment, get the necessary signatures to get it on the ballot in November, that would outlaw the cell of tobacco and tobacco related products inside the city of Kansas City until the time in which smoking bans are removed from local businesses.
Here's a sample question:
Shall the City of Kansas City prohibit the sale of tobacco and tobacco related products, for the purpose of promoting public health by decreasing citizen’s exposure to first and secondhand smoke and creating smoke free environments for workers and citizens through regulation, until all businesses located in the Missouri counties of Jackson, Platte and Clay, and the Kansas counties of Johnson and Wyandotte are authorized by ordinance to permit the lawful use of tobacco products within their establishments?