Lawsuit Claims Funding for Downtown Streetcar is Unconstitutional

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. —  Two Kansas City business owners filed a lawsuit Thursday to try to stop the downtown streetcar plan from ever being implemented.

Sue Burke of Kansas City Air Filter and Jeffrey “Stretch” Rumaner of Grinders filed the suit in Jackson County.

The lawsuit challenges the ways Kansas City is funding the downtown street car plan, claiming that the one-cent sales tax and special property assessments are unconstitutional and also violate a Missouri law.

The two are represented by attorney Mark J. Bredemeier.

“These plaintiffs’ common denominator in pursuing this legal challenge comes down to the lack of fundamental fairness to downtown business and property owners and their patrons. This is ‘taxation without representation’ at its worst because the vast majority of people and businesses who have to cough up these additional sales taxes and property assessments were denied the right to vote on them which is unfair, and we believe, unconstitutional,” Bredemeier said through a news release.

“This entire funding mechanism election scheme has been characterized by others as suspect, worrisome, troubling, undemocratic, grossly undemocratic and even profoundly undemocratic,” Bredemeier’s statement said.  “Our lawsuit intends to answer the question: Is it lawful?”

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