Political Fracas: KC's deceitful sales tax ad
The Kansas City Star
The campaign to pass a new $34 million increase in Kansas City’s sales tax sent out a flier last week.
I say it’s deceitful. See if you agree - or don’t.
The ad sent to frequent voters in the mail:
Doesn’t mention that the sales tax is new and it’s an INCREASE in total taxes on Kansas Citians.
Doesn’t say how much money the INCREASE will raise.
Tries to fool people into thinking taxes will only be eliminated.
I’m disappointed that Mayor Sly James attached his name to this advertisement, and will ask him about it Tuesday at our scheduled interview.
Yes, I know fliers often try to mislead voters. But when James and others are trying to build up trust in city government, having this kind of flier go out - with the mayor’s name on it, to boot - does exactly the opposite when people learn the full truth.
In fact, the ad - paid for by the Progress KC Committee - says three times that Question 1 would “eliminate taxes.”
That’s true, up to this point: It would eliminate the collections of the boulevard, parkways and trafficways maintenance property taxes. That deletes about $10.5 million a year from the city budget.
After eliminating those taxes, the flier says, Question 1 would be “replacing that revenue with a single sales tax…”
That’s factually misleading and ultimately factually wrong.
Yes, the tax would “replace” the $10.5 million - and then it would add $23.5 million more in taxes because the sales tax would create $34 million a year.
The flier could have been upfront about that.
After all, how’s the city going to pay for all the good things - such as better parks and roads - promised in the flier unless City Hall gets more money?
But the Progress KC Committee tried the deceitful approach, implying that this was just an even trade of tax revenues.