As an avid user of the streetcar, I was excited to find out that the line will be extended. The street care line is a beneficial way to keep the city moving and we like the idea at Alpine Kansas City!
The Kansas City streetcar’s Main Street extension reached another major milestone. Voters approved local funding for the 3.5-mile route from Union Station to the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Volker Campus.
The vote was the last of three for Kansas City residents who live along the proposed streetcar line. In August, voters approved the formation the Main Street Rail Transportation Development District. In October, they supported a a slat of pro-streetcar candidates to head up the board of directors for that district. The most recent vote approves the TDD’s ability to levy sales and property taxes within the district to fund streetcar operations, a critical step to getting federal support for the extension.
“We’re just excited about the enthusiasm from the voters in the district to move it forward,” Kansas City Streetcar Authority Executive Director Tom Gerend told the Kansas City Business Journal. “We’re carrying this momentum into our application for federal funding and our commitment to bring this project to life.”
Within the boundaries of the district, the TDD would be able to levy a sales tax of up to 1 percent on businesses within the district. It also would be able to levy an assessment on properties roughly within a third-of-a-mile from the streetcar line, which is expected to be similar to the rates for the starter line. Those rates are:
- 48 cents for every $100 of assessed value for commercial property
- 70 cents for every $100 of assessed value for residential property
- $1.04 for every $100 of assessed value for city-owned property
- 40 cents for every $100 of assessed value for tax-exempt properties (but only for those with a market value between $300,000 and $50 million)
A fee of $54.75 per spot also will be assessed on surface pay-parking lots (not garages).
Both measures were approved by about 75 percent of voters. The sales tax measure passed by a vote of 2,588 for (75.6 percent) and 834 against (24.4 percent). The property tax measure won approval by a vote of 2,529 (74.6 percent) for and 858 against (25.3 percent).
The TDD won’t begin raising taxes until after a plan is approved for construction of the streetcar extension, the project is fully funded, and after the Downtown and Main Street Extension TDDs are merged into one. According to the authority, the extension’s initial cost now is estimated at between $250 million to $275 million.
Article courtesy of the Kansas City Business Journal
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