January 19, 2017

John Sharp: Phone Poll Determines April 4 Ballot

dreamstime_l_9889232South KC Perspective

Phone Poll Determines April 4 Ballot Hwy

By John Sharp

SharpJohnThe city appears to be continuing to move toward submitting three different bond issues for voter approval on the April 4 ballot since a recent phone poll asked voters how they would likely vote on all three issues.

City Manager Troy Schulte originally proposed one $800 million general obligation bond issue for a wide variety of capital improvements, with approximately $40 million in bonds to be issued annually over a 20-year period.

But splitting this into three separate measures totaling the same amount was proposed at a December 22 joint hearing on the measure by two City Council committees at the advice of the city’s bond counsel.

The poll asked voters for their opinion on a $600 million bond issue for streets, bridges and sidewalk repair; a $150 million bond issue for flood control and storm drainage projects; and a $50 million bond issue for a new animal shelter partly paid for by private funds and other public building improvements.

The pollster who called me said the annual increase in property taxes for the average homeowner to pay off the bonds would be $6 for the $600 million bond issue, $1.50 for the $150 million bond issue and 50 cents for the $50 million bond issue.

By the time the last bonds would be issued in the 20th year, property taxes for the average homeowner would be $120 a year higher than now for the $600 million bond issue, $30 a year higher for the $150 million bond issue and $10 a year higher for the $50 million bond issue.

Another hearing on the proposed bonds is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. Thursday, January 12, in the Council Chambers on the 26th floor of City Hall. The deadline for the Council to act to put the bonds on the April 4 ballot is January 19.

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