Taxpayers might be on the hook to refinance cost of downtown improvements

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Kansas City may rely on even more taxpayer money to refinance the cost of rebuilding downtown which included the Power & Light District.

This week, City Manager Troy Schulte presented next year's budget and announced he wants to refinance the bonds to give the city lower payments spread out over more years to pay it off, which could leave taxpayers paying more.

"The city is taking in more revenue than it would have been otherwise had it not made the investment," Executive Director of Kansas City's Power & Light District Nick Benjamin said.

Benjamin said the price to build the space was only $82 million of the $292 million paid for in bonds.

"When you're looking at the debt service, two-thirds of that debt service is really outside of just the boundaries of the Power & Light District, it's for a large investment in downtown," he said. "It went to infrastructure work, garages, new streets that service all of downtown."

Schulte was unavailable for comment Friday, but did address the council this week while presenting the plan.

"This budget still has structural issues and we must continue to be vigilant in our efforts to resolve our long-term liabilities so that city services can consistently and adequately be provided at reasonable cost to taxpayers," he said.

Public hearings are set for mid-February for the public to weigh in on any issues they have with the budget.

You can read the 2014-15 budget here: http://bit.ly/1dwhqe7

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