borderless transit / borderless region

KCMO Transit Sales Tax Delayed

The City Council of Kansas City has run out the clock on putting a renewal of the 3/8-cent sales tax on the November ballot. This puts the revenue from the sales tax at risk since the next available election in April 2024 would occur shortly after the tax expires on March 31, 2024, leading to a potential gap in revenue that currently supports almost half of the city’s existing bus service.

The other transit sales tax (1/2-cent) was authorized by the Missouri Legislature and no longer has a sunset. A portion of the 1/2-cent tax is dedicated by law to KCATA’s capital needs (buses, facilities), with another portion being directed to the streetcar’s Transportation Development District.

Ordinance 230446 currently states that the target election date for the 3/8-cent renewal is August 8, 2023, which has obviously passed as of this posting. The deadline for the November 2023 ballot is August 29, 2023. Since the ordinance does not appear on this week’s Transportation Infrastructure and Operations committee meeting agenda, there will not be sufficient time to conduct a typical TIO hearing (the only opportunity for formal public comment), advance the ordinance to full council, and get full council approval before August 29. The Mayor and Council do have options to expedite ordinances, but there’s no indication that’s in the plan.

On top of all this, the TIO commitee has new leadership with the new Council that will be seated on August 1, 2023. Contact new TIO Chair Kevin O’Neill and Vice Chair Melissa Robinson here: