Kansas City, Mo. - Officials with Kansas City Parks and Recreation department are issuing a warning just two days before voters head to the ballot box.
Voters are being asked to approve a half-cent sales tax increase for the city's parks, community centers and street repairs.
The sales tax increase will replace some unpopular property taxes and a motor vehicle tax.
On Sunday, Parks and Recreation's director said the city department will have to cut back hours at community centers or close some of them altogether if voters say no to Question 1 on Tuesday.
Some 500,000 people in the metro area use the city's 10 community centers each year.
If voters say yes, community centers would get an additional $3 million to revive parks, keep community centers open and streets maintained. The sales tax rate would still be lower than it is in Johnson County.
If voters say no, many young people who have come to rely on them for summer activities say center closings would adversely impact their lives.
16 year old Collin London said he uses the affordable Southeast Community Center about 5 days a week for basketball. His performance has improved so much he said he hopes to one day make a college team.
"It has changed my life," he said.
London said he would be dangerously bored if he did not have basketball in his life.
A second ballot measure on Tuesday will ask Kansas City voters to authorize up to $500 million in new sewer bonds.
Even if Question 2 is not passed, rates will still go up dramatically for the foreseeable future to pay for a federally mandated sewer overhaul program.
Critics argue sales taxes are the most regressive kind of tax on the poorest in the community.
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