KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Jackson County Legislator Jalen Anderson will start another term next week.
With the Kansas City Royals planning a new ballpark downtown, he knows at some point he may have to vote on putting an extension of the 3/8th cent per dollar sales tax on a ballot before everyone else in the county can vote on it themselves.
In 2006, voters passed a similar measure that went to improvements at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium and Kauffman Stadium.
“If we were keeping the stadiums where they are? Yes,” Anderson said when asked if he would support the team asking for an extension of the sales tax on a ballot. “If we’re not, no.”
Earlier this month, Royals’ Senior Vice President Brooks Sherman said the earliest the team could put this question on a ballot would be August 2023.
In team chairman John Sherman’s letter, he released to the public a month ago, he said the team was looking to move away from Kauffman Stadium.
“You have Raytown, Independence, Kansas City that all buffer up to each other around the stadiums themselves,” Anderson said Monday. “I believe that if we’re going to invest anything, I think you should invest there.”
Anderson, who lives in Blue Springs, said he knows the Royals are putting together a plan and there are a lot of people to talk to.
The Royals are not commenting specifically on their thinking for the vote.
“Yes, and I would campaign against it,” Anderson said when asked how he, as a resident of the county, would vote on an extension.
“If there is any conversation about the 3/8 sales tax, I think they should reach out to every single legislator, old and new coming onto this new legislature,” Anderson continued.
“I believe they should truly understand the financial aspect that the county faces over the next ten years. With building the new jail, with dealing with the downtown courthouse, with dealing with the new administration building, there’s lots of things the county is going to have to take care of over the next few years.”
Jackson County Legislator Scott Burnett of Kansas City is in a different situation than Anderson is. Burnett decided not to run for re-election in November, but he did talk to John Sherman about his plans earlier this year.
“I expressed that I didn’t want them to move downtown, that I could be from here to seats in Royals’ stadium in 20 minutes, but it was clear from that day in early April that he was going to move,” Burnett said Monday.
The new stadium itself is expected to cost $1.005 billion while the new district would cost nearly $1 billion, too. Taxpayer money could be needed for the stadium portion of this project, not the ballpark district.