Sobering facts about KC's just-approved streetcar election
The Kansas City Star
Mayor Sly James, other city officials and streetcar enthusiasts are understandably ecstatic today about a judge’s order that upholds creation of the streetcar funding district.
Yes, it’s a potentially positive step for the city and its efforts to improve KC’s pathetic mass transit situation.
But even if voters uphold formation of the transportation funding district - with higher property and sales taxes - two more things still have to happen before streetcars have a remote chance of running down the streets.
- The single most important element would be federal approval for $25 million in U.S. funds to help build the line.
If KC does not get that - and competition is extremely stiff - the streetcar project goes back on the shelf.
- Even with the federal funding, the people of downtown KC would still have to approve higher taxes on themselves and on other downtown property owners. That’s because the local taxes, alone, won’t do the job.
Again, today’s decision is important.
But it’s only one more step toward the goal of getting a reasonable program set up to finance streetcars in KC.
The most essential steps are still to come.