On the Ballot: Statutory Measures, Special Elections

This post concludes my walk down the Ballot I will be voting on Nov. 8 in Clay County, MO. It includes two sections of the ballot: Statutory Measures and Special Elections. I am not quite sure what these sections mean, but I can parse what the items themselves mean.

Here they are:

STATUTORY MEASURE

PROPOSITION A

Proposed by Initiative Petition

Shall Missouri law be amended to:

  • increase taxes on cigarettes in 2017, 2019, and 2021, at which point this additional tax will total 23 cents per pack of 20;
  • increase the tax paid by sellers on other tobacco products by 5 percent of manufacturer’s invoice price;
  • use funds generated by these taxes exclusively to fund transportation infrastructure projects; and
  • repeal these taxes if a measure to increase any tax or fee on cigarettes or other tobacco products is certified to appear on any local or statewide ballot?

State government revenue will increase by approximately $95 million to $103 million annually when cigarette and tobacco tax increases are fully implemented, with the new revenue earmarked for transportation infrastructure.  Local government revenues could decrease approximately $3 million annually due to decreased cigarette and tobacco sales.

YES

NO

In my previous ballot post, I said I would vote against a constitutional amendment tobacco tax. This one I think I will vote for. I am a little confused on how the taxes get repealed by other ballot measures, but I am more comfortable on where the taxes will go. And the taxes are less than the others. The impact of this one is also explained better for m.

SPECIAL ELECTION

CLAY COUNTY, MISSOURI

 PROPOSITION L

For the purpose of renovating and replacing aging library facilities, enhancing spaces and programming for children and adults, expanding services and collections to serve public demand, and for the general operation of public libraries, shall there be an eight cent tax increase over the thirty-two cent tax per hundred dollars assessed valuation for Consolidated Library District #3, known as the Mid-Continent Public Library?

YES

NO

Here is a dangerous item. It is a 25% tax increase over the current tax. But it goes  for the library, which we are big users of. Should I make other people pay for what I use? This Link explains the library’s plans and rationale. It is a form of social engineering. That 25% I mentioned is only a 1% increase in property taxes themselves, which include taxes for a lot of other services. I will vote yes for the library tax — they haven’t gone up since 1983 — but doing so I will recognize that I am exempting my own pet cause of the library from my general statement of keeping government small.

I guess my way around that last statement is to say this is a local tax, with local people and entities, making decisions about ourselves, instead of trying the top-down movements from the federal or state level. So I can redeem some of my small government credentials on this one.

CITY OF KANSAS CITY

SPECIAL ELECTION

QUESTION NO. 1,

(Park Property)

Should the City of Kansas City remove from the park system vacant property of about 1.2 acres located generally between E. 23rd Street and E. 24th Street west of Flora Avenue, which has been determined by the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners to be no longer necessary or appropriate for park, parkway, or boulevard use?

YES

NO

Yes. Don’t make the park service take care of more property than it needs to. We have good parks, they cost to upkeep. If something is no longer useful, get it back on the tax rolls if possible.

QUESTION NO. 2,

(Park Property)

Should the City of Kansas City remove from the park system vacant property of approximately 2.6016 acres located generally east of Lister Avenue and south of E. Linwood Boulevard, which has been determined by the Board of Parks and Recreation Commissioners to be no longer necessary or appropriate for park, parkway, or boulevard use?

YES

NO

Ibid. Same as Question No. 1

QUESTION NO. 3

(Light Rail Sales Taxes)

Shall the City of Kansas City enact the following three sales taxes:

  • a new 1/8¢ sales tax for 25 years beginning April 1, 2017, pursuant to sections 94.600 through 94.655, Revised Statutes of Missouri, the transportation sales tax; and

  • a shifting of the current 3/8¢ sales tax currently devoted to the KCATA, for 25 years beginning April 1, 2024, pursuant to sections 94.600 through 94.655, Revised Statutes of Missouri, the transportation sales tax; and

  • a new 1/4¢ sales tax for 25 years beginning April 1, 2017, pursuant to sections 94.575 through 94.577, Revised Statutes of Missouri, the capital improvements sales tax,

with the proceeds of said taxes and any other additional funds, which may include federal matching funds, to be used for the purpose of funding, or funding as much of as is possible, the construction, operation and maintenance of a citywide light rail transit system (rapid electric trains operating in their own right-of-way separated from traffic) to include a north/south line operating from Kansas City International Airport to the Cerner Campus at Bannister with scheduled stops at Twin Creeks, Vivion Road, North Kansas City, Downtown, Union Station, the Plaza, Brookside, and the Kansas City Zoo; and including an east/west line operating from Union Station to the Jackson County Sports Complex (utilizing Linwood Boulevard and the Rock Island Rail right-of-way) with scheduled stops at Troost Avenue and Prospect Avenue (to connect to the city’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system), and also including a fleet of electric mini-buses (to transport passengers to and from light rail stations) with all station stops at or near designated locations and with the light rail system utilizing, where possible, city parkland, medians of city boulevards, and existing rail right-of-ways, and including necessary bridges and other infrastructure?

YES

NO

This one I like where and how the proceeds are to be applied. It would be additional government, creating a public light rail transport system. Another pet project I believe in. Its the revenue stream that I have my issues with. Two new taxes. I could go for those. My question lies on the shifting of a current tax away from the current bus system. This Article in the Kansas City Star gives greater background. The KCATA tax expires in 2024. This would renew the tax for light rail instead. But What does the KCATA do for its buses? I think that while I like the expanse of this plan, I’ll vote against Chastain and let the smaller project have its go. Once again, it is a local, home-grown effort, and will gain traction over time.

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