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Dismissal denied of ‘taxation without representation’ lawsuit against KCMO, city council, BOPC

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Posted at 2:36 PM, Jun 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-02 15:36:01-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo.  — A judge ruled Tuesday to deny the motion to dismiss a lawsuit involving “taxation without representation” against the city of Kansas City, Missouri, as well as the mayor, city council, city manager, director of finance and Board of Police Commissioners.

The lawsuit was brought about by Urban League of Greater Kansas City President Gwendolyn Grant. While she is known as a Civil Rights activist, she filed the suit as a taxpayer.

Grant originally filed June 14, 2021, in order to intervene with a lawsuit filed by the BOPC against the city concerning the reallocation of $42 million of KCPD's budget. The reallocation was to shift funding toward community services.

She stated that the BOPC was perpetuating “taxation without representation” as well as violating Missouri’s Hancock Amendment since the BOPC is appointed by the governor, who does not answer to taxpayers but has the power to allocate taxpayers' money.

Violation of the Hancock Amendment in this situation, according to Grant, goes as far as violating the Equal Protection Clause due to the board diminishing the voting rights of minorities.

The possible reallocation of $42 million in 2021 continues to circulate through political discourse in Missouri.

Sen. Tony Luetkemeyer, R-Parkville, led the charge of Missouri lawmakers to pass a bill — on the final day of the 2022 Missouri legislative session — to increase KCPD funding from 1/5 of KCMO’s general revenue each fiscal year to 1/4.