Earlier this week we received a tip from one of our readers about the upcoming streetcar vote in Kansas City. With news the feds have denied KC's request for stimulus dollars and ballots are beginning to show up in mail boxes of the meager 555 eligible voters, I thought I'd share their comments with you.
Here is the email unedited and in it's entirety, we've with held the identity of the informant by request:
I received a letter from Connect KC today signed by Mayor Sly James -- Lots of pro comments about the streetcar being good for develpment, plus a reminder that my ballot must be notarized before it is mailed back. The letter provided a number that I could call to schedule a notary, 816-533-5014.
There was also a stamped envelope with a card that reads, "Yes, I support the creation of a Transportation District in Downtown Kansas City. Please contact me about notarizing my ballot."
This leads me to believe that I am on my own to find a notary if I vote no, but they will be ever so accommodating to "yes" voters. Obviously there is a LOT of money being spent to get this on the ballot. I hope you do get the word out to those that did get ballots that this will cost them in higher property taxes, rents and sales taxes. Part of the proposed tax would come from a special property tax that would be assessed yearly. The formula is .70 for every $100 of assessed value with assessed value being 19% of market value. So a property with market value of $150,000 would cost a that property owner about $23 a month more in taxes. We don't need MORE taxes to drive people and businesses out of the downtown area. And I have seen no mention of where they plan to obtain yearly operating costs that can run into the millions.
I would hope this could be stopped BEFORE it gets to the ballot. The 555 ballots will be mailed out this week. I hope that you keep publishing frequent blogs about the folly of this streetcar and encourage those that did get the ballots to vote NO. Someone needs to get the word out because there is a concerted effort (with assistance) to get people to vote Yes.
Here are a couple of websites with some interesting info:http://www.maciverinstitute.co
m/2012/05/maciver-study-refute s-economic-development-claims- of-milwaukee-streetcar-project /
Cost overruns and operating costs -- what is really has and is costing -- manipulated and decreasing targets so that they can report success.... good stuff in this reporthttp://www.effectivetransporta
As I am a supporter of public transportation (just not the streetcar) and of development in KC so I would prefer to remain anonymous.