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Fri August 20, 2010
Sales Tax to Voters, But Not Charter Change
By Steve Bell
Kansas City, MO – Kansas City, Missouri will proceed with plans to put the public safety sales tax up for renewal in November. But the city won't change its redistricting plans despite pressure from civil rights leaders.
The city council has voted to send voters a buildings and equipment only plan for the quarter-cent sales tax if they approve its extension. The project list includes two new police stations, a new CSI lab, and replacements for aging helicopters.
A second ballot measure calls for the sale of 112 million dollars in bonds to for those projects, to be repaid from the tax proceeds.
Mayor Mark Funkhouser put in one last pitch for at least a commitment to hire 80 more police officers. But Police Chief Jim Corwin did not endorse a firm commitment to those numbers, and the council voted it down.
A plan to put a charter amendment on the ballot to postpone the city's redistricting till after the March election to wait for census ethnic data was blocked from a final vote by the mayor and the council's four Northland members.