Kansas City — Tax Vote Moves Streetcar Closer
In a downtown referendum, Kansas City voters approved a 1-cent sales tax increase plus property tax increases to fund a $100 million, two-mile streetcar system. The line will run principally on Main Street from River Market to Union Station. The tax increases only apply to the neighborhood to be served by the streetcar.
According to the Kansas City Star, the election was conducted by mail and was only open to registered voters living in the streetcar district.
Kansas City has considered proposals for light rail on and off for nearly 20 years, but all have failed to generate the needed political support to succeed. First generation streetcars stopped running in the city in 1956.
Leaders hope to begin construction in 2013 and launch service in 2015.
Supporters hope success in funding and operating this initial streetcar line will pave the way for a more extensive system in the future.