Showing posts with label Mayor Funkhouser. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mayor Funkhouser. Show all posts

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Kansas City Mayor's Race a Boring Affair

Mike Burke (pictured to the right) and Sly James held their first Mayoral debate, post primary, Tuesday night. They agreed with each other so much that at one point Sly James jokingly accused his opponent of getting answers off his website. Both candidates are currently lawyers in private practice - both made reference to the city being their only "client" if elected. Mike Burke even declined to explain how he would be a different mayor than James. It's enough to make you want to puke.

Mike Burke seems content in letting his endorsements win the race for him. With three ex-mayors and several civic and community leaders endorsing Burke, I think he believes he just needs to keep from doing something stupid in order to win. He may be right. Sly James biggest name endorsement is the Kansas City Star - nobody reads The Star anymore, so I can't see that helping much. Former Mayor Cleaver won't even help a brother out - he has refused to endorse anyone.

I sure do miss Mayor Funkhouser's presence in this race - he sure knows how to stir the puddin'. I predict voter turnout will be embarrassingly low for the March 22nd election. Few people care normally, with these two bores, no one will care. Maybe they should cancel the election and just be co-mayors. Unless something interesting happens, I won't be paying attention.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Kansas City Looks to Future Without Earnings Tax

Tuesday's Passage of Prop A in Missouri will lead to a vote next spring in Kansas City on the future of their 1% Income Tax. City Leaders are critical of the plan, why wouldn't they be - the Earnings tax supposedly makes up 45% of the city revenue. If that figure is correct, Kansas City has some real problems. Property and sales taxes in the city are on par or even higher than many other areas in Missouri. Why on earth they can't get by without an income tax is beyond me, most everywhere else does.

The good news for the City is that the Earnings tax will be phased out over 10 years (if Kansas City voters decide to end the tax) giving the city time to adjust to the lowered revenues. The Mayor himself said that we need a new tax structure that is "pro business and pro Kansas City, and we don't have that now."

The end of the Earnings tax will ultimately be a good thing for the city. I personally know a handful of people who moved out of Kansas City because of the tax - there are already enough reasons to move to the suburbs (schools, crime, etc..) without the extra tax. It will make Kansas City more competitive and hopefully more efficient in it's delivery of services. Some cuts would be tough, but it's a job that needs to be done, and a solution will be found. I grew up in Kansas City, I love Kansas City - ending the Earnings Tax will make it a better place.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Earnings Tax Fight Heats up in Kansas City

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Circuit Court Judge Jon Beetem ruled in favor of keeping Missouri Proposition A on the November ballot. Proposition A would ban cities in Missouri from collecting an income tax. The two cities that currently have an Earnings (income) tax - St Louis and Kansas City - would be required to have voters decide if the tax could continue. Next year would be the first such vote, and if the tax is continued, it would have to be voted on every five years. Kansas City Mayor Funkhouser said he was disappointed and would continue to try and educate citizens about the need for the earnings tax revenue in the city.

A large percentage of Kansas City's general budget is derived from the "E-tax" as it's called. The matter has not been brought to the voters in years. It has city officials terrified. The city has become dependent on this income - like a drug addict, it craves more and more money.

Many supporters of the earnings tax in Kansas City are geared to fight the statewide measure in November. They include the Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and of course Police and Firefighters Unions, The city of Kansas City (Mayor Funkhouser), and other government employee unions. Others - like St Louis Mayor Francis Slay - think the passage of Proposition A is a foregone conclusion and are instead gearing up for the local vote on the Earnings Tax next year. This approach makes more sense to me, the local voters should have a say when it comes to how they are taxed.


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