Public voices opinions on KC streetcar expansion - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Public voices opinions on KC streetcar expansion

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KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -

Lots of people have very different opinions when it comes to Kansas City's streetcar, and Tuesday many of those people got a chance to make their voice heard.

The public hearing at Jackson County Circuit Court involved the proposed new Transportation Development District, or TDD, from which taxes would be used to fund an expansion of the Kansas City streetcar system, also known as NextRail KC.

The Expansion TDD would run from State Line Road on the west to Interstate 435 on the east, with the Missouri River as the northern boundary. The southern boundary is 89th Street from State Line Road to Ward Parkway; 85th Street from Ward Parkway to 71 Highway; and Gregory Boulevard east from 71 Highway.

The tax money raised would be used in conjunction with state, federal and private funds to pay for the expanded district. The money would pay for annual operating costs, and 40 to 50 percent of construction costs of the line.

The revenue sources for the Expansion TDD would include a combination of a 1 percent sales tax within the entire boundary of the Expansion TDD and a special assessment on some, but not all, property.

Depending on where people fall on the proposed new district and taxes, Tuesday in court was the time for people to tell the judge who'll make the final decision how they felt.

"We want to attract the brightest and best from this generation. I think to do that we're going to have to have multimodal transportation. And I think as more of those people want to live here, I think big business is also going to follow that," said Matt Kauffman, who is in favor of the proposal.

"I don't like the regressive nature of the tax that would be taxing my friends over on the east part who are broke anyway and just can't afford that extra," said Louise Kendrick, a Brookside resident. "The whole city gets to vote on it, to tax one little section."

No decision was made directly after the hearing. A judicial hearing on the proposed expansion will be held Wednesday.

There is already a Downtown Streetcar Development District. If approved, the new TDD would replace that one when it's ready to go.

Copyright 2014 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.

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