What’s on tomorrow’s ballot

Midtown residents will find three issues on the ballot when they go to vote tomorrow.

For the first time, the Kansas City Election Board is introducing electronic poll books during the April 2 election. Election officials claim looking up a voter’s name will take seconds with this new method.

The polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Here’s a brief summary of each issue of the ballot

  • Question 1 –Health Levy Extension: The first issue is a renewal of a city health levy for nine additional years. That measure would extend the tax residents currently pay, 22 cents for $100 of assessed property value, providing $15 million a year (about $4 a month for the owner of a $100,000 home). Midtown’s KC Care Clinic (formerly known as the Free Health Clinic) receives a portion of its operating budget from the tax. The money also goes to offset some of the indigent care Truman Medical Center provides, to help pay for the ambulance system, and for the city’s health clinics. A yes vote would not increase taxes, but would extend the current tax which is set to expire. Supporters say renewal of the levy would ensure the most vulnerable citizens have a safety net, especially important as the Affordable Care Act is being implemented and state and federal funding is changing.
  • Question 2 –Tourism Tax to Include Nonprofits: The second issue would allow the city to remove the exemption for nonprofit organizations under the city’s tourism tax. The city is the only one in the state that exempts those groups from its tax on non-resident hotel and motel guests. City officials lobbied for a state law change last year that allows the city vote, which would not otherwise change the 7.5 percent Kansas City tax on sleeping rooms. Exempting such groups that arrived for conventions cost the city more than $9.9 million from 2007 to 2011, officials reported. The money is a major source of funding for city convention and entertainment facilities and its convention and visitors association. It is the only source of funding for the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund, which is used to help pay for things like the Irish Festival, 18th and Vine events and other neighborhood festivals
  • Question 3 – Prohibiting the manufacture of nuclear weapons parts: A grassroots group gathered about 3500 signatures to put this issue on the ballot. The issue stems from the building of a new weapons plants near the Bannister area of Kansas City. Passage would ban city subsidies for suppliers of products to that National Nuclear Security Administration facility in south Kansas City, which manufactures and procures nonnuclear components for nuclear weapons. Supports of a yes vote say they want to send a clear message that Kansas City does not want to be involved in making nuclear weapons. Opponents say the measure could be a job killer; the plant is expected to employ 2500 people when it becomes fully operational in 2013.


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