Reject odd initiative on KC ballot
The Kansas City Star
It’s a lot easier to say what Question 3 on Kansas City’s ballot next month would not accomplish than what it might actually do if approved by voters.
It would not lead to the closure of the new National Nuclear Security Administration facility in south Kansas City, which Honeywell will manage as it makes non-nuclear components for nuclear weapons.
Question 3 would not cause the plant and its 2,500 highly paid employees to instead make parts for renewable energy programs, though supporters say they would love to see that happen.
And it would not cripple the city’s ability to attract other companies to supply the new plant with products.
Essentially, all Question 3 seeks to do is eliminate City Hall’s ability to provide any kind of public subsidy to help any potential new suppliers locate in Kansas City.
We are all for reforming the city’s often-excessive taxpayer incentives — and reducing the world’s stockpile of nuclear weapons.
But by singling out a specific industry, Question 3 is a poor way to revise Kansas City’s policies on public subsidies and is ineffective as a nuclear weapons deterrent.
Supporters put it on the April 2 ballot by petition, after they failed to stop the Honeywell plant from being built.
Opponents have attacked the initiative for potentially harming future business interests in Kansas City because of the vague restrictions. But without providing compelling proof of such a strong statement, a campaign piece says Question 3 would cost the city “thousands of new jobs and urgently needed tax revenues,” sending supply plants to nearby cities instead. It appears to be hyped-up rhetoric because there is no evidence of incentives aiding current suppliers.
Summed up, there are sufficient reasons to vote “no” on Question 3, one of the oddest initiatives to wind up on a city ballot in years. Well-meaning opponents of nuclear weapons were left with half-a-loaf legislation that isn’t worth codifying into law.