Two issue questions deserve passage on Kansas City’s April 7 ballot.
Question 1: The Star recommends a “yes” vote on a plan to sell almost 2.5 acres of vacant property near 534 Highland Ave.
The park board supports the sale of the land for $150,000 to the nearby Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences in the Northeast area.
As they have on several occasions in the past, voters must make the final decision on whether property is no longer needed and may be removed from the city’s parks and boulevard system. In this case, the university’s control of the land would help carry out its master plan for campus improvements.
Question 2: The Star recommends a “yes” vote on the city’s attempt to collect an annual $1,000 fee on all payday loan businesses.
The issue will sound familiar to some Kansas City voters because they endorsed the initial fee in a 2008 election.
That fee was designed to reimburse the city for inspecting and regulating the businesses, which have multiplied. They often charge exorbitant interest rates that put too many lower-income customers in even deeper debt.
Some payday loan providers have adjusted their business model and now claim they no longer must pay the city fee. The new charge would affect these operations.
The city already has requirements that apply to payday loan establishments, including where they can be located and what type of signage they can have. The $1,000 fee is reasonable and should be approved.