One important Kansas City election finished Tuesday.
But other important elections are on tap later this year, and that process started Wednesday.
The Kansas City Regional Transit Alliance is gearing up for a streetcar expansion election, seeking to extend the downtown streetcar route south to the University of Missouri-Kansas City. This will be an unusual election process, beginning with a mail-in election to determine if sufficient support exists to create a streetcar taxing district near the route. Registered voters living within the proposed transportation development district (TDD) can apply to the Jackson County Court for a ballot now, and the actual election occurs this summer.
The applications are at www.16thcircuit.org/ballot-applications.
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The map of the proposed taxing district is at www.16thcircuit.org/district-boundary-map.
More information is also at kcrta.org.
People can also apply for a ballot from now to 5 p.m. May 23 by going to the Jackson County Court, 415 E. 12th St. in Kansas City, with proof of voter registration. More information from the court is available at 816-881-6671.
The actual mail-in election will occur from June 20 to Aug. 1, for eligible voters who have received a ballot. If voters support the transportation development district’s formation, an election is expected later this fall to select TDD directors. That election would be held at various polling places within the proposed district. Then there would be a third election, this one again by mail, in early 2018 to approve the actual taxes required to pay for the streetcar expansion.
But that’s not all. There are two other streetcar-related ballot measures that will be decided at a Kansas City election Aug. 8. One ballot measure is Clay Chastain’s latest petition initiative, seeking a citywide sales tax increase to help pay for a different streetcar expansion plan than the one that the KCRTA is backing.
And a group of streetcar opponents has a petition initiative on the August ballot that would prohibit any planning or implementing of any streetcar expansion without a citywide vote.