Election Day in Kansas City part 1

Midday with Jayme & Wickett
Tuesday, April 4th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

They is voting day in Kansas City and there are a lot of things to discuss this question one question to question three question foreign five. And joining us right now and is Alan Chang pointed out I did my hair for him today. From the Kansas City Star welcome in Dave Helling Dave thanks much for. Busy day today and and run through each of these you know question went to report and five let's just start with the first one because there are a lot of things on this ballot on these questions and a lot of dollars at stake here in question one calls war. 600 million dollars over the next twenty years for bridge street and sidewalk repairs and. Actually and asked that we group because people keep hearing the 800 million dollar bond number so let's cover which of those questions covers at 809 that's the number of people obviously. At perhaps it's best to start with the idea that at least on the first three questions we should understand how the votes and work mom need more than a majority to pass the first three questions they'll bond issues. Between the city would borrow money. A cumulative total of 800 million dollars over those three questions it takes four sevenths. Of voters to approve with about 57%. Plus and fall. So it's gonna take that to approve the and they are not connected others is that they are not active there's a little bit of there's a little bit of misinformation because of the way the campaign is Ron. One can pass to and three can fail. One can fail to and three can pass three might pass and 12 finish it is a stop getting all this literature in my outlook and over and over for mayor Jane and you're telling me that that that you're still confused after reading all. Which is not surprising because they did run a campaign double or because they want all three a pack they want all three to ask spam but but again if you don't have to vote for all three or against all three you can pick and shoes and and that's you know maybe what we can talk a certain outlets break and one that you that question one. It is the big Kahuna 600 million box. Well over twenty years it's not all at one time they're gonna is should these bonds slowly but 600 million dollars or twenty years. To repair bridges streets. A 150 million again over twenty years ago for sidewalk repairs Kansas City has. An enormous backlog of crumbling sidewalks. In part because under current city law at the sidewalk. Begins to deteriorated for your house you have to pay to get it fixed you homeowner. You don't have to paper that'll wants there's a program Ricans were added to your mortgage do other things in your home but. But up until now the rule is that if cyber war goes responsible well and particularly in pour neighborhoods that's just not. Possible let's 56000 dollars just to do you know street product. So this would change that that this would now make this a citywide responsibility proves that of course bridges and streets interest. The usual deterioration. Pavement and and brute sub structures. 600 million bucks when here's what would be the negative. Visit the Bennett the the the well official part of this is to fix things. I asked you what's the cost the taxpayer while it's hi a few let's back up a little bit if you pass all three. The actual cost over over the entire life of the bonds which will be issued for a forty year period there one year bonds each year. Issued for another twenty years. For the average taxpayer it's going to be about a hundred dollars a year you you know. Hundreds 5060000. Dollar house. It starts in the first your very low in the first year maybe it's ten bucks on property act but the next year it's ten plus the original tan. After 2030. Forty and it accumulates in the in the averages about. A hundred bucks but ten dollars a month 910 dollars a month over. Over the life of the bonds. Arm. And so that they will be issued in forty million dollar increments and then these projects will be packed across. So that covers number one bright number two was flood control. Number three is where we get into the animal shelter. Yes yes let's start with number two question number two. It it would set aside a 150 million dollars for various flood control projects in some parts of Kansas City not at all. But in some parts of Kansas City storm drainage remains a serious problem brook side is a good example. Old creek beds redevelopment that was made over drainage areas that were long since forgotten. And so every time it rains as it is going to do tonight according came yeah. Some of the people in those neighborhoods get a bit nervous. And so a 150 million dollars a set aside for those projects again over twenty years. The that there is some federal money available for bigger flood control projects. Along the mystery river warned Monday's problems with the Levys. And and so one of the arguments pro opponents are making. About this quacks it is. All this free money is waiting for us from Washington we just kept multiple Macs now when asked earlier what's the argument against question one reluctant. And the reality is the reality is that even opponents of all three questions at Mitt the need for infrastructure repairs. They don't even argue really about the animal shelter which we'll talk about a minute but they certainly don't. Argue against the idea that we need more flood control of the bridges are falling apart or that sidewalks knee repair. The biggest argument against all three questions is whether or not the two things whether City Hall can be trusted with the money which is always an issue. And second and what I've written about is whether or not they might have been able to do this without raising your taxes. Vice. You know attempting in some way to cut spending at City Hall. And by doing so provide the money to do this infrastructure repair remember this is a basic thing the city is supposed to do and it went on snot like let's build a new sports arena. Or let's you know have a new concert venue this you know repairing the streets in the bridges in the sidewalks is a public responsibility. And so some have argued that. Look they ought to do that first and then spend money and that's brought up to the people at city hall and mayor James do we get a response I say there's no other way to do it absolutely no other way I've talked to the mayor about it toward Schulte. We've cut to the bone we can't possibly do. Also if this fails what happens if the if these bond referendum L. Well kinda money bomb. Here here's my aren't we have a bake sale yet. L car launch but here's what I've written about. When you borrow forty million dollars in the first years the actual cost of the cities over three million dollars bank to pay that for twenty years. Sixty million dollars or forty million dollar all. The three million dollars a year. The city's budget. Is about a billion and had if you can't find three million dollars there to pay for forty million dollars orally. It seems like that is not a high bar to you know. Additionally. Kansas City this year handed out nineteen million dollars and races to the police and fire department of the cost of living. On a patriotic or may have to pay only ten million dollar settlement apartment owners trash removal. The chief of police is getting 500000. Dollars as he walks out the door. There are discrimination lawsuits. Up and down on the roster campus misery. There does seem to be an argument. You can do these things if you just partner build a little bit. That the police department budget next year in Kansas City will be 250. Million dollars a quarter of billion dollars. Just for the police department. In Kansas State law requires Kansas city's spent about 20% of its budget on the police. We spent 44%. So there are places arguably the two could shrink about a little but a little bit and still come up with the money you need. Wrote that on our class on us we'll take a break McEntire but the shelter but somebody's ass and attacks on if you could explain. And because people pay any tax if you live or work in the city Kansas and Missouri. We people asking were paying daddy tax why can't that money goes somewhere why can't more that money going to police and that frees up money for that. That is the argument Kansas City is one of the most heavily taxed city's in America. It in 2015 it was fifteenth highest tax burden overall in the country hire the New York City. You know Houston in the whole list of other cities that have lower tax burdens. And because Kansas City collects a lot of sales taxes. And a 1% flat earnings tax the the structure in Kansas City tends to hurt the poor more than the wealthy. And so you have a regressive tax structure that's relatively high and now you're asking voters today in essence. Not only approved these three questions which property tax increase but sales tax which this question formal talk about a minute now. Again nobody and no one should walk away from this program. And think that I'm arguing that the need isn't there everybody admits the need there isn't a single opponent use infrastructures are arguing nobody's out there saying you know what we're doing fine these crumbling sidewalks you know Anderson takes a higher status or whatever. But but but the financing mechanism that debt level of the city the choices they make and trust it's a whole world. Dave Helling from the star in the editorial board is in studio with a -- 81 KM BZ come back we'll talk about the questions that are still remaining question three about the animal shelter questions for sales tax question five. Perhaps the decriminalization of marijuana plus other things in and around the metro and a lot going on in Kansas as well Ali let's talk about the Medicaid it's we gonna talk about school finance the budge. I'm not like 45 hours left with the way I guess I can't just waiting for the polls to close it out voting day here and we will come back more than Dave Helling from star next to 91 KM BZ.