Get Off The Train: Kansas City Cannot Ride To Economic Growth
Show-Me Institute Policy Researcher Kacie Galbraith wrote yesterday that much has been said in Missouri about economic development that attracts the so-called creative class.
But over the past decade, the ?cool? cities have not seen any faster job or population growth than cities dominated by non-creative industries. The fastest employment growth has been in areas such as Houston, Dallas, Oklahoma City, and Omaha. The main employment in those cities is not in the cool, creative sector, but in industries such as oil and manufacturing. And, even the rapidly growing ?cool? cities, such as Raleigh and Austin, are not transit-centered places.
It is the same in Kansas City. Rail proponents are so frustrated about nearly a dozen defeats at the ballot box that they contrived a special taxing district, permitted only the residents of that district to vote, and used the result of that vote to commit the city to at least a $100 million rail line project.
A lawsuit against the city’s scheme was dismissed because of its timing, and the city has started collecting the tax. Now the blog Tony’s Kansas City is claiming that some are preparing for a ballot petition to stop the project. If the Kansas City City Council is unable or unwilling to defer to the clearly and repeatedly stated will of the people, then voters are completely within their rights to act on their own with a petition.