Wow: Jackson County Voters Say No To Research Tax By Five-To-One Margin
We had our concerns about Question 1 in Jackson County, a proposal that would have imposed a half-cent sales tax for medical research in the county. Given the size and duration of the tax along with its beneficiaries, it was certainly plausible that residents might reject it, but I don’t think David Stokes or I expected that voters would reject the tax by a five-to-one margin.
In complete unofficial returns, 12,066 voters supported the tax, roughly 16 percent of those casting ballots, while 64,486, or 84 percent, opposed it.
The early returns were so decisive that supporters conceded defeat long before the final votes were announced.
“It was an effort very much worth fighting,” a somber Russ Welsh, past chairman of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, told a crowd of about 50 supporters gathered at Union Station.
While voters did not agree with the funding mechanism, he and others said the campaign had been successful in educating the public about the promises of translational research.
Kansas City residents already live under an enormous sales tax burden — a burden so heavy that some local districts already feature a sales tax well in excess of 10 percent. The research tax would have exacerbated sales tax problems in Jackson County.
This was the right move for Jackson County residents. Let’s just hope that the Kansas City area has reached its peak sales tax and will start lightening the region’s tax burdens going forward, rather than piling on more.