The City must build residents’ confidence in our ability to implement reasonable reforms and deliver much needed infrastructure repairs. The first priority will be fixing our current system and addressing our maintenance backlog. A concentrated, long-term effort to reduce deferred maintenance should begin – now.
ADDRESSING KANSAS CITY’S IMMEDIATE NEEDS:
THE CITY MUST REFORM HOW IT COLLECTS AND SPENDS TAXPAYER DOLLARS
Currently, the City’s revenue system is a tangle of taxes, fees and assessments that are both confusing and inefficient. The Citizens’ Commission on Municipal Revenue has suggested reforms that will streamline funding streams, provide flexibility, and focus on funding essential functions first.
MAJOR FUNDING FOR THE PARKS DEPARTMENT WILL BE LOST THIS YEAR
The vehicle license fee of 12.50 per car will expire this year. This will leave a $3.5 million dollar yearly hole in the Parks Department’s already stretched budget.
THE WATER DEPARTMENT WILL SOON EXHAUST ITS BONDING AUTHORITY
The Water Department requires more bonding authority to maintain its current rate structure. Additional authority is required to begin the federally-mandated Overflow Control Plan (OCP).
A good example of what these bonds will help fix can be found here:
STOP COLLECTING SOME FEES AND TAXES
As recommended by the Citizens’ Commission on Municipal Revenue, adopting Question #1 would eliminate four property based fees and taxes paid exclusively by Kansas City residents:
-$12.50 Motor Vehicle License Tax (per vehicle)
-$28.50 Parkway Tax
-$14.25 Trafficway Tax
Eliminate Boulevard Front Foot Tax
Currently these taxes and fees fund portions of our Parks and limited street maintenance.
APPROXIMATE ANNUAL CITIZEN SAVINGS: $68*
*AN AVERAGE KC HOUSEHOLD WITH A $150,000 HOME, MEDIAN INCOME OF $44,113, AND TWO VEHICLES. ASSUMES 30% OF SALES TAXES ARE PAID BY NON-RESIDENTS.
FUND PARKS INDEPENDENTLY WITH HALF-CENT SALES TAX
Approving a half-cent sales tax will replace the funding eliminated above and remove Parks reliance on the City’s General Fund,giving Parks and Recreation its own funding source. Parks will receive a net increase of $3-4 million annually. The City’s General Fund will save $13 million as a result of this restructuring. These funds will be dedicated to a Street Utility Fund (SUF).
AVERAGE ANNUAL COST TO CITIZEN: $68
DEDICATE AND DIRECT
Commit to designating resources specifically to maintain and resurface streets, replace sidewalks, streetlights and signs.
The Street Utility Fund would combine current City funds dedicated to street maintenance with the $13 million adoption of Question #1 saves in the General Fund.
The Street Utility Fund (SUF) would be a long-term and dependable allocation.
DEDICATED TO STREET MAINTENANCE ANNUALLY: OVER $20 MILLION
$500 MILLION IN BONDS TO BEGIN CONSTRUCTION ON THE OVERFLOW CONTROL PLAN (OCP)
Bonds would take advantage of low interest rates and lower labor costs to begin projects required by the federally mandated and approved OCP. Beginning the project now will
reduce the costs of the multi-billion dollar project over the long-term.
Once issued, bonds will be funded through current water rate structure.
NO TAX INCREASE