Government & Politics

Deep Background: Kansas City wants higher taxes for infrastructure

Kansas City residents have long complained about what might be thought of as the pothole problem. It’s the subject of the latest “Deep Background” podcast.

Millions upon millions of dollars have spruced up downtown — and saddled taxpayers with debt — and the streetcar adds a little zip to the city’s core. But wander around the city and you find crumbling streets, disintegrating sidewalks and any range of eroding infrastructures.

Now the Kansas City Council is taking action to repair the basics — starting with asking voters for tax increases to pay for it.

On April 4, voters will decide on a plan to borrow and invest $800 million over 20 years, the largest general obligation bond authorization ever in Kansas city. The money would pay for road, sidewalk, flood control, bridge and public building projects — including a new animal shelter and federally mandated work to make public buildings accessible to people with disabilities. The money would be spent in increments of about $40 million a year.

In the podcast posted today, longtime City Hall reporter Lynn Horsley explains what’s at stake for the council, and the city, in the upcoming vote.

Follow Lynn Horsley on Twitter, @LynnHorsley.