OK, class, smoke break is over; get back to those desks.
We’ve got a lot of reviewing to do before you go to the polls on Tuesday. (Hey, I’m talkin’ to you, Missouri voters; you Kansans are on your own!)
Yesterday, we covered the five Missouri constitutional amendments and Missouri Proposition A. Today we look at the three Jackson County questions, the three Kansas City, MO, questions and the Mid-Continent Public Library Proposition L.
Jackson County Question 1
With so many bogus and confusing proposals on the ballot, it’s no wonder Jackson County officials, including County Executive Frank White and Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker are pushing hard for renewal of the quarter-cent Community Backed Anti-Drug Tax, aka COMBAT. This tax has been in effect since 1984, and voters generally look favorably on renewing taxes that have not been marred by scandal. Although I’m a bit dubious about the effectiveness of COMBAT funds, it has been free of scandal, as far as I know. Among other things, COMBAT funds support 23 drug-treatment organizations, according to a Frank White letter to the editor in today’s Kansas City Star.
I see no good reason to vote against this renewal. Also, I trust Frank White and Jean Peters Baker.
My recommendation: Vote YES on Jackson County Question 1.
Jackson County Question 2
Despite the misleading yard signs you might have seen (RENEW with Question 2), this would be a NEW sales tax — always something to be leery about. An eighth of a cent, to be precise. The yard signs also play on people’s perceived empathy for child-related measures, with the words, “Hope for Children.” The ballot language says the revenue would establish “a Community Children’s Services Fund for the purpose of providing services to protect the well-being and safety of children and youth nineteen years of age or less and to strengthen families.”
Too vague for me. Sounds like the backers are promising a sinecure for all juvenile problems.
My recommendation: Vote NO on Jackson County Question 2.
Jackson County Question 3
This one is going to have voters scratching their heads, partly because the ballot language is a challenging. Once you’ve figured it out, it’s appealing in one sense because it would end the collection of county sales taxes on cars, trucks, boats, trailers and motors purchased out of state. So, you could go to Kansas, buy a car and avoid paying the Jackson County sales tax when you register it in Missouri. Sounds good, but the down side is it would put Jackson County car and boat dealers at a competitive disadvantage with Kansas dealers.
Who among us want to do something to help Kansas at Jackson County’s expense? Raise your hands…I thought so.
My recommendation: Vote NO on Jackson County Question 3.
Kansas City Question 1
This would “remove from the park system vacant property of about 1.2 acres located generally between E. 23rd Street and E. 24th Street west of Flora Avenue.”
In a ballot as long and difficult as this, it’s understandable if voters are looking for machine gunners behind every tree. Not to worry. This is hamburger stuff.
My recommendation: Vote YES on Kansas City Question 1.
Kansas City Question 2
This would “remove from the park system vacant property of approximately 2.6016 acres located generally east of Lister Avenue and south of E. Linwood Boulevard.” (Note: approximately 2.6016 acres. I’m sure glad they didn’t try to measure it down to the last hundred-thousandth acre.)
No machine gunner behind this tree, either.
My recommendation: Vote YES on Kansas City Question 2.
Kansas City Question 3
Let’s face it, Clay Chastain isn’t going away until he’s dead. (I hate to wish a premature death on anyone, but with Clay, it’s tempting.) This is his hundred-thousandth light rail plan, and I won’t dignify it with a recommendation.
Mid-Continent Public Library Proposition L
This library system has 31 branches and serves 800,000 people in Jackson, Clay and Platte counties. Some of those people are in Kansas City, although Mid-Continent does not overlap the Kansas City Public Library system. Proposition L would provide for a property tax increase of 8 cents for each hundred dollars of assessed valuation (for homeowners in the district boundaries). The current 32-cent levy has been the same since 1983.
It’s about time I quoted the late, great (actually still living and still kicking) KC Star editorial writer Yael Abouhalkah. Recently, on his blog, he said this about Proposition L. “If your house is worth $100,000, the tax increase would cost you an extra $15.20 a year. Got a $200,000 piece of property? That’s $30.40 extra a year. That’s a reasonable price to pay for improved public assets.”
My recommendation: Vote YES on Mid-Continent Public Library Proposition L
There you have it, readers. You should be well armed now, at least as it pertains to most of the issues on the Missouri-side ballot…A frequent commenter asked yesterday if I had any candidate recommendations. I think most of you know your candidates and how you’re going to vote, but for the record my big three in Missouri are Kander (he can assemble an automatic rifle blindfolded!), Koster (bought and paid for by the special interests, but consider the alternative!) and Hensley (she cares for the kids!)
Go get ’em, voters.