Few Downtown Voters Interested in Downtown Streetcar Line Proposal

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The fate of a proposed Kansas City downtown streetcar line could be in the hands of less than 1,000 voters following a low turnout of eligible downtown residents.

Kansas City wants to create a special taxing district to pay for the proposed streetcar line, which would run from the Missouri River south to Crown Center. The proposed district would include the downtown loop and south, bordered by Broadway on the west and Gillham, Oak and Locust to the east. If approved, then residents in the district will be assessed a special property and sales tax.

The entire project is estimated at $101 million, with the district expected to raise around $75 million of that amount. City officials have applied for a $25 million federal grant to make up the difference.

But according to a report by the Kansas City Business Journal, only 603 downtown residents – roughly 10 percent – applied to vote on the special taxing district, out of 5,900 registered voters in the proposed district. City officials say that number is low, but it’s also in line with numbers from other municipal elections in the past.

Ballots will be mailed out on June 19th, and will be due on July 31. If approved, the city will hold a second election to approve the special taxes.

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