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Kansas City Public Library estimates loss of at least $3M in property tax revenue with downtown Royals stadium

Kansas City Public Library
Posted at 9:18 PM, Mar 21, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo — Just like the Kansas City Public Schools, a chunk of the Kansas City Public Library's (KCPL) budget comes from property taxes.

Several tax paying businesses would be demolished near the Crossroads District if the Kansas City Royals build their new proposed stadium there.

Carrie Coogan, deputy director of community engagement and public affairs for KCPL said they've crunched the numbers.

"It's going to affect our direct budget by anywhere between $90,000 to $120,000 per year," Coogan said. "In the course of 40 years, that's between $3.5 to $5 million."

The Chiefs and Royals want voters to approve a 3/8-cent stadium sales-tax to fund the new ballpark's construction, which would be located in the downtown Crossroads District.

The Chiefs want it approved to fund improvements to GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium.

Though the Kansas City Public School system didn't secure direct funding from the teams they hoped for, they were able to negotiate so they won't lose any property tax dollars for the buildings that would no longer exist.

Some library go-ers weren't happy to hear that at this point, the library isn't getting the same deal.

"If we're going to make it a win-win for the school district, the very children that benefit in the school district are the same families who depend on this library," said Anastasia Rhodes, a member of the library.

Aaron Rhodes attends the library regularly. He said investing in public libraries is the least the Royals and Chiefs can do.

"I think it's important that the Royals, Chiefs, and anyone benefiting from Kansas City tax dollars invest money into libraries, schools, and public resources here in town," Rhodes said. "Ownership of the team has millions and millions, sometimes billions of dollars, at their disposal."

Property tax revenue is part of the library's operational funding, which means staffing and some of their programming could take a hit.

That may impact how some people choose to vote on April 2.

"There were some things I just found out that I wasn’t aware of, some of the impact, so yes it actually does change it," Anastasia Rhodes said. "I haven't decided yet, but I'm going to weigh it out more than I was 48 hours ago."

With advanced voting already underway and less than two weeks from election day, the library is hoping they aren't left behind.

"The library is an important institution where people need access and it should be valued as much as a new stadium," Coogan said. "We believe everyone involved sees that too, we just want to make sure we're at the table."

KSHB 41 reached out to the Royals for comment on the library's concerns. No response was received before publication of this story.