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KC Tenants, Stand Up KC react to proposed community benefits agreements from Royals, Chiefs

CBA terms from Chiefs and Royals
Posted at 10:18 PM, Mar 20, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo — Activists criticized proposals in the community benefits agreements revealed Wednesday by the Chiefs and Royals.

The teams want Jackson County voters to approve a ballot measure on April 2 that would repeal the current 3/8-cent sales tax and replace it with a similar 3/8-cent tax to help fund stadium construction projects.

They released details about community benefits agreements that would contribute $266 million to Jackson County.

Community activists said the CBA would determine their stance on the sales tax.

Now they know what's proposed and and they don't think there's enough money in the CBA.

"When we're talking about the investment they're asking us to make, which is $2 billion, the amount they'd be investing is pennies in comparison," said Jaz Hays with KC Tenants.

Activists said seeing some of the terms only solidified their plan to encourage a no vote on the stadiums sales tax.

"The only historic number is the Royals and Chiefs still asking for $1.7 billion in taxpayer financing and offering pennies on the dollar on a return," said Terrence Wise, with Missouri Workers Center and Stand Up KC.

The CBA includes education funding, including programs for the Kansas City Public Schools district.

KCPS could not confirm they've reached an agreement with teams, but they are negotiating.

The district provided a statement to KSHB 41:

“As our community explores the possibility of a project as significant as a new publicly-funded downtown stadium, it is imperative that the impact of this on children in this community, and the places they attend school, are seriously considered.

KCPS has had contact with leadership from the Royals and plan to continue negotiations with the expectation that an agreement be in place before the vote in April. In considering the site location of the East Crossroads, Kansas City Public Schools must be held harmless on current and future potential revenues in the downtown baseball stadium footprint. Loss of revenues we are currently, and are planning to receive, could have an adverse impact on necessary personnel and other supports we have in place for students.

KCPS also expects a community benefits agreement with us that includes supports for our kids and families, including paid internships, funding for literacy initiatives and support for high-need students. KCPS has also approached the Royals about helping to fund the Delano Youth Housing and Supportive Services project. This project, which will be housed in a former KCPS school building, to provide much-needed transitional living program housing, non-congregate emergency shelter, a drop-in center and supportive services to youth aged 14-21 experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.

We look forward to engaging in constructive dialogue and collaboration with all stakeholders involved in this process as we continue to advocate for the children of Kansas City.”

Some advocates made it clear they believe more money will leave the community in the 40-year life span of the tax.

"If It could check the boxes for us, the Royals wouldn't want it," Hays said.