Kansas City Council Considers 400% Tax Increase
OK, now that I have your attention with that eye-popping (yet accurate) title, let’s discuss the issue reasonably. The Kansas City Council decided not to put a tax increase for the city’s museum on the August ballot. The Star has the story. The Council was considering an expansion of the number of beneficiaries of the tax so that it would include other civic entities, and that is why the tax was going to increase from 2 cents to 10 per $100 assessed valuation, blah, blah, blah. Supporters of the tax would probably label it as an "8-cent tax increase" as opposed to "400 percent," but both are accurate.
I don’t think this is a bad idea. The zoo-museum-garden tax works well in Saint Louis city and county, and I feel it should be expanded to other neighboring counties, whose residents now get to go to the zoo for free on my tax dollar. A similar taxing district might work well for Kansas City, provided that the entities funded by the tax dollars were required to then keep their fees low or, in some cases, zero so that people didn’t get hit both ways. I also think the tax should be levied on more than just residents of the city of Kansas City. Spread the tax wide, keep it very low, use it for a defined purpose, and let the voters have the ultimate say. That is the basis of good special tax district policy, in my opinion.