Mayor James kills $500 million bond election this year
The Kansas City Star
In a positive move, Mayor Sly James is telling City Council members and others Wednesday morning that he won’t move ahead with a $500 million bond election this August.
It would have required a property tax increase, but the mayor told me in an interview in his office that he was getting push back from a number of civic leaders on the timing and the cost.
Now the mayor is thinking about an election in April, which will give City Hall time to come up with a better and more precise package of infrastructure improvements than had been done so far.
The deadline for putting issues on the August ballot is next Thursday, which wasn’t enough time for the mayor and council to pull together that kind of capital improvements bond package.
However, the mayor also told me that he now wants to put a $500 million bond issue on the August ballot, with proceeds going to sewer upgrades.
This will be much less controversial. It won’t require a tax increase, but will require higher sewer rates that already are expected by customers.
So the city will have to do a good job telling residents how the money will be used and exactly how much their rates will go up in future years.
This bond election would require just 50 percent approval.
The general obligation bond issues for capital improvements killed by the mayor for this year would have required 57.1 percent voter endorsement.