Tuesday is deadline to apply for ballot in streetcar mail-in election

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Tuesday is the deadline for voters to request a ballot for a special, mail-in election on how to fund the extension of the streetcar.

Eligible voters who request ballots will receive them beginning May 1. They have until June 12 to complete, notarize, and return their ballots. 

Voters already approved extending the streetcar from its southernmost end at Union Station down Main Street to roughly the UMKC campus. 

Only registered voters living in a transportation development district are eligible to vote in this spring's election. The district runs roughly from the Missouri River in the north to 53rd Street in the south, and State Line Road in the west to Campbell Street in the east. 

The ballot question will ask voters in that district to approve a sales tax increase for items sold within the boundary. The ballot initiative will also place an assessment on residential, commercial, nonprofit, and city-owned property within a third mile of the streetcar tracks. The streetcar will use money collected from the tax and assessment to operate the streetcar without charging riders a fee. This is the same funding strategy the organization uses for the current streetcar line downtown. 

"What we've done on the downtown line, and what we'll do with the extension, is apply for federal and state money," explained Donna Mandelbaum with KC Streetcar. "In our application, we'll show there is a local funding support system there which makes the application a little bit more attractive for federal money." 

Mandelbaum continued, saying there is still a lot of work to complete before the streetcar extension becomes reality. 

Meanwhile, an opposition group argues the streetcar extension should not become a reality as is. The group Be Smart KC argues the voting procedure is too complicated. In flyers mailed against this ballot initiative, the group argued the streetcar's funding plan unfairly costs people living near the streetcar more.

Click here to download the application for a ballot. 

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