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Jackson County voters deny stadium sales tax, what happens next?

Measure fails 58 to 42 percent
Jackson County voter April 2.png
Posted at 10:16 PM, Apr 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-04-03 08:25:29-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Voters in Jackson County, Missouri, denied a sales tax which would've helped the Chiefs and Royals pay for stadium projects.

Throughout the campaign, the teams threatened to leave their current stadiums if voters failed to pass the tax.

So what happens next?

Tuesday night, the Royals released a statement saying “we will take some time to reflect on and process the outcome and find a path forward that works for the Royals and our fans.”

Chiefs President Mark Donovan told supporters at a watch party Tuesday, “We will do, and will look to do, what is in the best interest of our fans and our organization as we move forward.”

The teams asked for a 3/8-cent sales tax for 40 years. Since 2006, shoppers in Jackson County have been paying the tax.

The teams wanted to repeal the current sales tax which is set to expire in 2031 and replace it with a new tax at the same rate which would be in place until roughly 2065.

The Royals would’ve used their half of the money to help fund a new stadium in downtown Kansas City.

The Chiefs would’ve used their portion of the money to renovate GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

In the immediate future, businesses in the Crossroads District — where the Royals wanted to build their stadium — will remain in place.

The owner of Green Dirt on Oak said fighting the team’s plans brought the art-centric community together.

“It's been great to get to know my neighbors even more than we had prior to this," Sarah Hoffmann said. "So it has been a wonderful way of galvanizing everyone and bringing us together in this common cause."

Before election day, Clark Hunt, chairman and CEO of the Chiefs, told KSHB 41 News the team will “consider all of our options” if voters failed to pass the tax.

Those options could include moving the teams outside of the Truman Sports Complex where both professionals teams have been located since the early 1970s.

The Royals have said they plan to leave Kauffman Stadium after the 2030 season when their lease with Jackson County expires. It’s now unclear to where they will relocate.

When voters rejected a bi-state tax to fund stadium improvements in 2004, the teams came back with a new proposal in 2006.

Jackson County voters approved a 3/8-cent sales tax in 2006. It will remain in effect until September 2031 as originally planned.

The teams must wait one year to bring the exact same question to voters again. They can place a new question on a ballot as early as August.