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Jackson County counselor weighs in on proposals for Chiefs stadium question in November

Attorney advises against placing a question on ballot
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Posted at 6:38 PM, May 02, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Jackson County, Missouri, counselor said Thursday he’ll advise legislators against a proposal to place a specific question on November’s ballot to help fund stadium upgrades for the Kansas City Chiefs because he believes state law prevents it.

On Wednesday, Legislator Manny Abarca filed two options to put a parks sales tax question on November’s ballot specifically to help the Chiefs.

Voters denied a parks sales tax question in April that would have benefitted the Chiefs and Royals.

Counselor Bryan Covinksy said Missouri statutes do not allow for municipalities to send more than one parks sales tax question to voters every 12 months.

April and November are not 12 months apart.

“If there’s an attempt to put the park sales tax on again before 12 months, I would advise them the statute says you can’t do that, and if you did, you would be subject to a challenge,” Covinksy said. “You’re exposing the county to liability and challenges if something was to be put on for a vote that passed that has some questions on whether or not the statute was applied appropriately.”

Missouri State Statute 67.550 says in no event shall a proposal pursuant to sections 67.550 to 67.570 (which includes park sales taxes) be submitted to the voters sooner than twelve months from the date of the last proposal pursuant to sections 67.550 to 67.570.

Abarca said in response he still plans to move forward with formally introducing his two park sales tax options at the May 13 legislature meeting.

He’d like a third-party to review the legal merits of his proposals.

More than anything, he’s happy to see how his proposals have started a conversation on retaining the Chiefs after April 2’s rejection.

“I will continue focus to restart the negotiations with the Chiefs,” Abarca said in a statement.