KCUR News
10:54 am
Tue September 30, 2008

Chamber Steps Aboard Transit Campaign Train

Kansas City, Mo. – The clout of organized business has come in on the side of the Kansas City light rail transit tax on the November ballot. The sales tax for startup rain is now endorsed by the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce.

Concerns centered on whether the city will be able to meet future financial obligations with the burden of a startup light rail system. The chamber didn't back the proposal seven years ago. Why now? Transit chair E Frank Ellis says,
"..you've got a lot of young, young folks that want jobs but need access to get to em and can't afford $4 a gallon gasoline. I think the economy is one of the major drivers"

The Chamber endorsement includes a twenty five thousand dollar donation to the campaign and calls for a special citizens oversight panel to monitor handling of sales tax funds. The recommendation is to keep the oversight panel in place until the project is finished. And to be certain the system is planned and operated so it doesn't rely on city funds beyond the three-eighth cent sales tax.