Another victory Thursday for the program Mayor Sly James calls Reform and Repair means Kansas City voters will have the final say in August.
There was not a dissenting vote as the full council approved a double pronged approach to infrastructure. The simplest part is a half-billion-dollar bond issue to get started on a 25-year federally mandated sewer upgrade.
The complicated one is a tax revamp to provide more money for streets, parks and community centers. Councilman Jim Glover called it a fresh, binding approach. “It's a significant step, I believe, in the history of the city, to have a dedicated source for street maintenance,” he said.
Several council members noted that by specifying in an ordinance that 7.5% of the city's e-tax revenue must go to street maintenance, voters can assure themselves that a past history of broken promises on streets will end. One concern was noted: that the earnings tax must stand a renewal election every 5 years.
The mayor's revised plan would guarantee only about ¼ of the ideal miles of street repairs, but council members agreed it's a start after years of neglect.
If the voters approve the tax structure changes, a number of city taxes including the one on vehicles will end in exchange for a 1/2-cent sales tax increase.