Streetcar lawsuit appealed

Two Downtown property owners this week appealed a Jackson  County judge’s ruling that dismissed their lawsuit challenging funding for the Downtown streetcar system.

Mark Bredemeier, attorney for the property owners, said today, “We’re simply trying to get our day in court.”

Doug Stone, attorney for the Downtown Streetcar Transportation Development District, declined to comment. At a previous court hearing, he said he may ask that the property owners to post a bond if they appeal.

Mayor Sly James said: “The City has gone before the court three times on this issue to confirm constitutionality and fairness. Each time the court has affirmed the city’s position. Any delay at this point that costs taxpayer time or money will not be taken lightly.”

The lawsuit contended the vote for the sales tax and higher property tax assessments for the $102 million, 2-mile streetcar system violated constitutional rights because it did not allow votes by property owners there who do not live in district.

It also contended the new district improperly stacked one transportation district on top another because there was already a 1-cent tax for the Power & Light district.

Jackson County Judge Peggy Stevens McGraw dismissed the lawsuit. She said the issues were already settled by a ruling last year by another judge – a ruling that the business owners did not appeal.

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