Kansas City Parks Sales Tax Increase (August 2012)

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A Kansas City Parks Sales Tax Increase measure was on the August 7, 2012 ballot in the city of Kansas City which is in Cass, Clay, Jackson and Platte Counties.

This measure was approved

  • YES 34,671 (63%)Approveda
  • NO 19,942 (37%)[1]

This measure sought to increase the current sales tax by a rate of half a cent for a period of five years in order to pay for park maintenance and operational costs in the city. This measure would also mean that current property taxes which are used for park purposes would be eliminated as well as a vehicle fee at the parks. City officials stated that with a dedicated sales tax for parks, general fund money which is being used to support the parks could be used for other purposes. Since the measure was approved, the general fund money which now goes to parks will instead be given towards a street improvement fund for the city.[2]

Campaign contributions

The group in favor of this measure, The Progress KC group had raised $209,750 in contributions for both Kansas city measures. Contributors included the Mayor campaign group, several law firms in the city as well as construction groups.[3]

Text of measure

The question on the ballot:

Shall the City of Kansas City, Missouri: Prohibit the renewal of the expired annual $12.50 per motor vehicle fee, Cease billing and collecting the trafficway maintenance tax by setting its assessment at $0.00, Cease billing and collecting the park and boulevard maintenance tax by setting its assessment at $0.00, Cease billing and collecting the boulevards and parkways front foot assessment by setting its assessment at $0.00, Enact as a replacement a parks sales tax of ½-cent authorized by Section 644.032 of the Revised Statutes of Missouri for the purpose of providing for the maintenance and operations of local parks, parkways, boulevards and community centers, Establish a dedicated fund to be used exclusively for street maintenance, and Transfer no less than 7.5% of the net annual earnings tax receipts to the dedicated street maintenance fund effective January 1, 2013 and each following year for as long as the parks sales tax is in effect?[4][5]