Question #1- KCATA Funds -sleight of hand? - REMEMBER THE MAYOR"S PRESS CONFERENCE AND WHAT ED FORD SAID
Watch Channel 19 Fri. at 7:30 or Sunday at 11:00
When we voted to raise the Sales Taxes to benefit the Fire Department, we were thrilled to be guaranteed that there would be more men hired to protect our homes. We were happy that we could make the firefighters lives better by repairing and constructing building and buy necessary equipment. But No one bothered to tell us that Millions of Dollars would go to the TIF projects scattered across Kansas City.
Now we are being asked to provide 3/8 of a cent raise in the sales tax to benefit the KCATA, the authority responsible for our buses. Presentations across the city have made people aware that bus service may be cut if this does not pass. Those asking for a Yes vote have said "Keep Kansas City Working" meaning that we need to get people to their jobs using public transportation. The presentations state that the KCATA had a sizable surplus (Ten Million) five years ago. The situation today reflects a Twelve Million short fall. When one checks the budget to see where the funds went it is surprising to see that the funds were transferred to the Special Allocation Fund. The Special Allocation Fund is for the receipt of Payment in lieu of Taxes and economic activity funds produced for the TIF projects "The incremental revenues produced by the projects are recorded in the fund and then reimbursed to various developers through the TIF commission to pay for qualified redevelopment project costs." p 514 of City of Kansas City Budge 2002-2003
In the last five years 5.4 Million has been transferred from the Public Mass Transportation Fund to the Special Allocation Fund where it is then dispersed to the TIF's. The new Fire Department Sales Tax Fund transferred 1.2 Million this year!
The July 2002 audit which is viewable on the KCMO.org web site under the auditors dept. states on page 16 exhibit 9 that the surplus was used for streetlights and TIF.
The November 4th ballot will carry Question #1 which will raise a proposed 22 Million dollars for the KCATA to use. There is a very large surplus which is to be given to the Mid America Regional Council to plan for Kansas City Transportation needs which will include bus transportation to Leavenworth. To Leavenworth? We are going to pay for all of the planning for all of the Kansas City Metro area. That is crazy.
But before Mid America Regional Council gets a cent there are others who will receive this new tax money. And that is where it really gets crazy
At the minimum 7% will be taken each year to give to the TIF developers. That will be over 1.7 Million spent that will not be spent on getting people to work. "Keep Kansas City Working" doesn't mean that we want to use buses to move people to work, we want to keep people working so that they can pay more and more taxes to keep the TIF game going.
This information should have been provided by the KCATA, it should have been provided by the city and it should have been provided to the public by those who are paying hundred of thousands of dollars to convince you to vote for this tax raise.
Would it surprise you to find out that those providing funds to win this election are closely tied to the TIF projects? This complex political scheme must be voted down on November 4th.
Question #1- Citizens for Public Transit -------------- Donations from Kansas City Election Board Records
HNTB- $10,000,Downtown Council- $10,000, Civic Council-$25,000, Chamber of Commerce-$25,000, Shook Hardy & Bacon-$10,000, Lathrop & Gage-$10,000,SpencerFane Britt& Browne- $5000, Hallmark Global-$5,000,
Blackwell Sanders Peper Martin- $2500,Stinson Morrison Heckle- $1000, Heavy Constructors- 20,000, Transsystems Corp- $5000, McDaniel Hazley Group- $2500, Shirley Helzberg-1000, JE Dunn-$1000, E. Crichton Singleton-$1000, JM Fahey Const.-$1000, Taliaferro&Browne-$2500, Isle of Capri Casino-$2500, Ameristar Casino-$2500, Shugart Thompson&Kilroy-$2500, Polsinelli Shalton Welte-$2000, KCP&L-$2500, Commerce Bank-$2500, Almalgated Transit Union-$2500, and Gillig Corp. of Hayward California-$10,000.