Most folks know churches and non-profits pay no property taxes. But the streetcar issue is different. They will be charged, every year, a "SPECIAL ASSESSMENT". (See related story on Tonyskansascity.com, RH column--the video that another church, Redemptorist, made--their assessment just counting the first 10 years--would be $108,000!)
|Sneaky Mayor Sly James has erected a three-hurdle tax grab special election for the Trolley Expansion. |
It will punish non-profits and churches and shoppers and citizens for decades...unless they vote no this summer.
This election is despicable. Tuesday May 23 at 5pm is the last day to file forms, in person now, not by mail--just to be allowed to CAST a ballot! And that ballot will need to be notarized, because it's not gonna be sent from the KC Election Board--they're only involved in counting the results.
This oddball secretive election is like a Yale fraternity initiation, eg Skull and Crossbones.
The only other time the 16th Circuit Court ran such an election was five years ago--and that was for Streetcar district 1--the river to Union Station. The election is controlled by Missouri Statute 233. It was strictly cloak and dagger--a behind the scenes deal rigged in the Missouri Legislature, to allow special TDD's, Transportation Development Districts to be voted on by a ridiculously small narrow district. Why????
FOLLOW THE MONEY--AND THE POWER GRAB
Because Mayor Sly James and his cabal of sycophants including Steve Glorioso, and greedy merchants at certain streetcar intersections, hoping to raise their traffic counts and thus the value of their land, knew that a true city wide public vote would never pass.
CFRG, and my hero, "Watchdog" Phillip Klein, are working hard to defeat it. I hope they are allowed by in-house legal counsel Scott Brinkman (816/881-3652) to buy the mailing list of the measly 3600 plus citizens who made it through the first hurdle. But, again, this is not an election being run by the election Board. According to the very pleasant and perky Janelle Jennings-Drummond, the circuit court's Coordinator of Special Projects, "access to a mailing list has not been absolutely determined yet." (Scott Brinkman has failed to return my calls.)
So rigged is this state-mandated election procedure, if a voter forgot to sign their application for a ballot, or failed to include proof of being registered, the statute makes NO provision for Janelle to phone the voter and remedy the problem. You just will never be mailed a ballot on June 20th. Clearly, Sly James is hoping only YES voters are smart enough and greedy enough to clear the hurdles.
This sneaky Streetcar Extension ballot is voter suppression of the highest order. Shame on Mayor Sly James. This needs to be defeated!
The BEST way to defeat the Streetcar Expansion is for the churches and non-profits to fight it.
They are all along the narrow district a few blocks either side of Main Street, from the river to 53rd St, State Line to Campbell--to RISE UP! Under current law, until Trump relaxes lobbying rules, churches cannot lobby. They cannot say "Vote NO". But they are legally allowed to "educate and inform".
So, pray for the churches to do just that.
The Streetcar issue will
1. raise personal property taxes,
2. AND assess churches and non-profits
3. AND raise sales taxes for all businesses in the district...a high as 12%!
4. And the Clockwork Orange factor that relates directly to further enabling KCMO's huge crime problem--
a longer trolley line will enable marauding bands of armed hoodrats to travel-- quickly, unmonitored and for free--from their current lair, the Power and Light District, down to the Plaza and out past Visitation Parish to UMKC.
Meanwhile, if you're not absolutely positive your ballot request was done properly, it's up to YOU, before 5pm Tues. May 23 (no postmarks, must be received today), to track it down:
Coordinator for Special Projects
KC Circuit Court
415 E. 12th St --(inside the County Courthouse)
3rd floor, #303