Thursday, April 17, 2014

TKC BREAKING NEWS!!! KANSAS CITY TESTIMONY AGAINST THE TOY TRAIN STREETCAR THROWS PROJECT OFF TRACK!!!



For weeks and months we've been reporting that the Toy Train Streetcar is over-budget, under-funded and ill-conceived . . . This week advocates against this outdated mode of local transit pushed their case even further and now await the next court battle.

To wit . . .

CHECK THIS WEEK'S REVIEW OF THE CASE AGAINST THE KANSAS CITY TOY TRAIN STREETCAR!!!

Check it:

FRIENDS OF KCI / DERAIL THE STREETCAR QUADRUPLE TAX

Tuesday of this week, Phase II of the Kansas City Streetcar TDD (Transportation Development District) project had its first day in court. The purpose of the hearing is for the Judge to decide if the proposed Phase II TDD is constitutional in meeting the minimum thresholds of law. The purpose of the hearing is “not to decide whether the streetcar is a good or bad idea”.

In order to meet the legal threshold of the law, It is the responsibility of the of the petitioners (The City Council of Kansas City, Missouri; The Missouri Department of Transportation, The Kansas City Port Authority, The Kansas City Regional Transit Authority, The Kansas City Transit Authority and Streetcar Neighbors) to prove the implementation of the TDD in Phase II of the Streetcar is:

1.) Not an UNDUE BURDEN to property owners (Voters)
2.) Not an UNJUST BURDEN to property owners (Voters)
3.) Not UNREASONABLE to property owners (Voters)
4.) Not UNFAIR to all citizens living with the TDD boundaries

All of the petitioners noted above expressed in their opinion, the streetcar is NOT an UNDUE BURDEN, nor an UNJUST BURDEN. They believe the streetcar is NOT UNREASONABLE to property owners, nor UNFAIR to Citizens living within the TDD.


Let’s start with Webster’s definition of the word BURDEN: a burden is a load, something that is oppressive or worrisome. Then let’s add the definition of UNDUE: undue is something that is more than ordinary, excessive. Finally UNJUST: something that is not fair or deserved, unfair.

Let’s pause here and evaluate #1 and #2: The streetcar is going to add to the sales tax for all businesses and voters within the TDD plus add an assessment to the property TAXES of those voters living within 1/3 mile on either side of the track. By definition the addition of more TAXES to anyone is at least worrisome, thus a burden. The fact of adding more TAXES on voters in a controlled area of the City, (regardless of the amount of the TAX) and not in other areas is certainly more than ordinary or excessive and perhaps even oppressive behavior on the part of the City. Thus this addition of more TAXES for a selected few voters, creates a UNDUE BURDEN on those voters. Finally UNJUST; adding these additional BURDENS to taxpayers already struggling to meet their bills and letting other taxpayers off the hook is certainly UNJUST; not fair nor deserved.

Webster’s definition of UNREASONABLE: not fair, sensible or appropriate, exceeding the bounds of reason. The last word we need to have Webster define is UNFAIR: treating people in a way that favors some over others, not fair, honest or just.

The law states the establishment of the TDD must not be UNREASONABLE to the property owners within the TDD. Does the fact the petitioners want to spend $60,000,000 per mile to build a streetcar when we can accomplish the same end result with improved bus service, seem to exceed the bounds of reason and be completely inappropriate? Last but not least, the TDD must not be UNFAIR to the citizens living within the TDD area. Is the "TAXATION WITHOUT REPRESENTATION" approach of the petitioners fair? If UNFAIR is defined as treating people in a way that favors some over others. Then the creation of the TDD is UNFAIR. When some citizens are taxed for a service that other citizens get for free, it is indeed UNFAIR.

After hours of slide shows and “expert witnesses” the petitioners failed to show that the streetcar was:

1.) Not an UNDUE BURDEN to property owners (Voters)
2.) Not an UNJUST BURDEN to property owners (Voters)
3.) Not UNREASONABLE to property owners (Voters)
4.) Not UNFAIR to all citizens living with the TDD boundaries

Full disclosure: There are "STEALTH TAXES" related to the Streetcar project that nobody wants to talk about. Everyone in the City has already seen their utility bills go up. This is due in part to having to move the utility lines for the streetcar. The utility companies are not doing that for free. You will never see the increase cost in your utilities attributed to the streetcar, this is part of the spin. Last week the City took $24,000,000 from the Water Department for the Streetcar project. The City says the lines were going to be replaced anyway. Aren’t those costs already in our water bills? Didn’t the voters approve over $1,000,000,000 in bond issues to cover those costs? The assessments being planned include city owned properties and buildings. Here again, taxpayer funds intended to provide important city services will be used to pay streetcar assessments on city property.

In addition, our city council persons have transferred or pledged close to $2,000,000 of funds designated to improve our neighborhoods in their districts (PIAC funds) to the streetcar project. This transfer of taxpayer funds intended for another use, is by definition UNFAIR, UNJUST, UNREASONABLE and completely inappropriate for voters of KCMO?

The paper mentioned this morning there is a $30,000,000 shortfall projected for the streetcar. In reality, the shortfall is $54,000,000. The City is proposing charging the same fare on the streetcar that the busses charge to reduce the shortfall to $30,000,000.

Finally, we believe the Judge needs to consider the MORAL issue involved here. The streetcar will BURDEN the poorest of our city with increased costs on purchases. Everyone has already seen utility costs increase. Think about where the line will run and all the charitable organizations on the route. They will all get assessments. Of course the petitioners will tell you “ we're charging the non-profits less”. It’s still an added TAX on non-profits, churches, etc.

There is another court date on April 24th. Mr. Streetcar will once again try to convince us this is a good deal. I ask a good deal for who?

Citizens For Responsible Government
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24 Comments:

Anonymous said...

One word: VOte.

The whole city needs a chance to vote on this, until then it is a sham election.

Anonymous said...

It's bad enough to reprint Touhey screeds. He's incorrect about most of his propaganda but at least he's intelligent...but Dan Coffey is just a fucking loon.
Seriously, citing Websters dictionary? No wonder Dejanes got her ass handed to her Tuesday. What the fuck is this, a junior high them paper?

Anonymous said...

*theme.

DY,AC!

Anonymous said...

Dejanes is cray! Lol l

Anonymous said...

Looks like they hit a nerve. If only their opposition could spell. There is a clear indication of the mental capacity of the pro streetcar group. Not good..

Anonymous said...

over-budget? No proof.
under-funded? Nope.
Ill-conceived? Not even.

Well that was easy to shoot down. Next?

Anonymous said...

Read the transcript from the hearing. Pay particular attention to Mr. Vozzolo's testimony. He works for one of the contractors as a consultant. One of 13 consultants working on this expansion at a cost of several million dollars..

Anonymous said...

I'm betting Tony kills the streetcar project coincident with the cum guy developing the ability to relate to women I'm a respectful manner.

Both of which will occur the day after the dems come and get all the guns and Bigfoot is spotted at Metro North.

Anonymous said...

Really, yippee I get to vote to raise my neighbors taxes, but not my own. This is democracy????

Anonymous said...

Russ Johnson's billion dollar boondoggle.

All aboard!

Anonymous said...

"People who say rubber-tire technology does not spur economic development are full of shit."

Kite Singleton 2006 (Pitch)

Anonymous said...

That giant sucking sound of taxpayer money paying for downtown's various folly's.

That's really what this is about.

Anonymous said...

We have reached a point in our society where people honestly believe that asking residents to decide on a tax by a popular vote us unfair.

Anonymous said...

Kind of like the 355 assholes who started this whole mess. Probably not going to ride it. But we want it anyway. And we want the rest of KC to pay for it so we can keep our tax deals, tax breaks, tifs, and abatements.

Anonymous said...

7:07 said it best. The sales tax may be legal, but letting the whole TDD vote to raise just a few people's property taxes is highly questionable. If I were opposed to this petition that's the point I'd attack.

Anonymous said...

6:16 Want to wager on that? Didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

6:16 Want to wager on that? Didn't think so.

Anonymous said...

The City is spending millions from its General Fund on the Streetcar, and Citywide voters don't get to vote! That has to be unconstitutional! Vote these people out of office!

elBryan said...

Lol. Dave Johnson anonymously presents "no" as a counter argument, and then someone pretends that a TDD is a popular vote.

"100% of the white people in this district we created decided the black people have to move away. Popular vote wins!"

Anonymous said...

Only in KCMO and with an issue like the streetcar could someone say, "Over budget? No proof", and expect to be taken seriously.
Can anyone say with a straight face that all the money being taken from other accounts like PIAC were all a part of some kind of responsible plan presented to the public before they voted?
What shell will the pea be under tomorrow?
And all driven by a handful of 20-somethings with no experience in much of anything, no property ownership, and absolutely no responsibility for what's being created.
Lease over, time to move and leave the $10-15 million/year bond payments for the adults to pay for.
Amateur night on the plains.

Anonymous said...

vote

Anonymous said...

Touhey, Coffey, DeJanes and Crazy-ass Sue are working hard to make sure I can't vote. Because if I do vote, on a tax that would affect me and not them, that would "disenfranchise" them "unjust" "undue burden" "boondoggle" "septuple tax"

elBryan said...

Last time I checked, all of those people live in and pay taxes in Kansas City; the same city suffering from violent crime, decaying sewers, busted sidewalks, underfunded parks, unaccredited schools, and yet you're pissed because the people you listed want every tax payer in KC to have the opportunity to vote in an election that spends $250M local dollars over the next 25 years.

Only a selfish, white kid without real life experience or personal property would be so out of touch.

Anonymous said...

"Only a selfish, white kid without real life experience or personal property would be so out of touch."

That would pretty much describe Mensa Boy, his merry hipsters, and the potentially very happy contractors all too happy to feed at the public trough.