Strikes and Gutters in Kansas City Election Results
It was probably a little premature and St. Louis-centric for me to call the Franklin County Charter victory the highlight of yesterday’s elections in Missouri with so much being voted on in Kansas City. Great as it was, they had some big issues on the table in KC, so let’s dive right into the Star’s coverage:
Votes approved the extension of the 3/8-cent sales tax to support the bus system and, more importantly, codified that the tax go to the bus system rather than being diverted to light rail, as has been attempted. The Show-Me Institute has written extensively on this issue. Kansas City has a good bus system, and KCATA is moving toward expanded use of bus?rapid transit, which has worked well where it has been tried. Expanding the use of BRT was one of the central points of Randal O’Toole’s study for us. The passage of the tax extension, and its limitation to buses, will go a long way to making sure KCATA provides transit for the people who need it in a cost-effective manner.
Voters also approved a $1,000 per license fee on payday loan establishments to "reimburse" the city for the cost of regulating the businesses. This is just absurd, and will only increase the costs and interest rates of small loans for people who depend on these establishments for credit. Justin has covered this issue for the Show-Me Institute with great skill, so I will refer you to his comments.
Finally, in a move that will get libertarian blood boiling, voters approved a ban on smoking in public places, including bars and restaurants, in Kansas City. I shall leave it to my colleagues (who I am pretty sure spend far less time in bars than I do) to tell you why this is so horrible. I, myself, have several work trips to Kansas City planned in the coming months and I look forward to spending even more money in bars during those trips now that I won’t have to be bothered by the disgusting smoke. But, heh, I never said I was a libertarian. …