TKC EXCLUSIVE NEWS!!! READ THE FULL STATEMENT AGAINST THE KANSAS CITY TOY TRAIN STREETCAR TAXING SCHEME FROM LOCAL ENTREPRENEUR PLAINTIFFS!!!
Kansas City Toy Train supporters want to argue that their plan will bolster local biz. However as a follow-up to TKC BLOG COMMUNITY BREAKING NEWS BEFORE ANYBODY ELSE . . .
TAKE A LOOK AT THE FULL STATEMENT FROM KANSAS CITY LOCAL BUSINESSPEOPLE WHO STRONGLY OPPOSE THE TOY TRAIN STREETCAR TAXING SCHEME AND QUESTION ITS CONSTITUTIONALITY!!!
Now, Council Dude Russ Johnson thinks he's smarter than everybody else in Kansas City and touts the efficacy of these taxing district schemes . . .
BUT THE QUESTION AND COMPLAINTS AGAINST TOY TRAIN STREETCAR TAX "STACKING" REVEALS A TRAGIC FLAW IN THE WAY KANSAS CITY'S STREETCAR WAS RAILROADED THROUGH RIGGED ELECTIONS!!!
This lawsuit represents a VERY REAL challenge to the shameful way this process was carried out . . . Take a look at the FULL STATEMENT rather than just letting newsies translate and transcribe.
Lawsuit: Streetcar Taxes Stacked Against Downtown Entrepreneurs
Entrepreneurs Charge Taxation Without Representation, Illegal 'Stacking' of Transportation Districts
KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI (January 31, 2013) - Today representative taxpayers and property owners in the Kansas City Downtown Streetcar Transportation Development District filed a declaratory judgment lawsuit in the Circuit Court of Jackson County seeking to halt the looming imposition of illegal and unconstitutional sales taxes and real property special assessments intended to fund a massive single-line, fixed-rail streetcar project slated for downtown Kansas City.
"The purpose of this lawsuit is not to interfere with progress on public transportation in this town, but to ensure that Kansas City government conducts the tax and assessment process in accordance with the laws of the State of Missouri,” stated Mark J. Bredemeier, the attorney who filed the lawsuit. "These plaintiffs’ common denominator in pursuing this legal challenge comes down to the lack of fundamental fairness to downtown business and property owners and their patrons. This is ’taxation without representation’ at its worst because the vast majority of people and businesses who have to cough up these additional sales taxes and property assessments were denied the right to vote on them, which is unfair and, we believe, unconstitutional." Bredemeier continued: Whether or not one supports this particular mass transit plan, the slanted election process runs afoul of the rights and safeguards protected by Missouri statutes and our Constitution."
The multi-count petition asserts several challenges to the legality of the new taxing district’s proposed one percent sales tax and assorted property assessments approved by a small number of mail ballot voters in December. One count of the petition contends that the "stacking"of a new one percent transportation development district sales tax for the Streetcar District on top of the existing one percent TDD sales tax in the Power & Light District exceeds the maximum TDD sales tax allowed by Missouri statute. According to the petition, [i]f the statutory limit . . . can be exceeded by the simple device of forming multiple transportation development districts encompassing the same property, the statutory limit has no meaning at all."
The remaining counts of the petition challenge the constitutionality of the property assessment election. This mail ballot election process was limited to registered voters who lived in the new taxing district and denied the right to all other Kansas City taxpayers and voters, including individuals and businesses whose properties were subject to the special assessments. The process afforded no advance notice of these assessments to property owners and has been criticized as designed to suppress property owner voting rights and generate only positive votes from voters with no direct financial stake in the outcome. These legal challenges contend this rigged election process violates property owners’ equal protection and due process rights under the state constitution.
"It’s simply Unfair and un-American that I did not get a say in what happens in my own city, especially when it is a project of this magnitude and I'm the one stuck paying the bill," declared Sue Burke, one of the plaintiffs in the suit and a River Market business and property owner. "This whole voting charade and stacking of taxes shouldn't be a surprise because many of us feel as though the deck has been stacked against downtown entrepreneurs from the start."
Added Stretch Rumaner, another plaintiff: "I just don’t understand why City Hall is making it harder on entrepreneurs like us who are already contributing to the resurgence of downtown. This is so counterproductive.” Stretch is the owner of the popular Grinders restaurants and outdoor concert venues in the Crossroads District, and a former member of the Kansas City Tax increment Financing Commission. "Unless stopped, this new taxing district's unfair and harmful taxes and assessments will dampen the organic resurgence that downtown and the Crossroads have already experienced. We're going to end up with mega-million dollar streetcars trolling up and down empty storefronts."
"This entire funding mechanism election scheme has been characterized by others as suspect, worrisome, troubling, undemocratic, grossly undemocratic, and profoundly undemocratic," said Bredemeier, the attorney. "Our lawsuit intends to answer the question: Is this lawful?"
Again, Read The Full Statement Here Rather Than Allowing Corporate Newsies To Spin The Story