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Peculiar police station bond also falls short

By Allen Edmonds

A use tax question was resoundingly defeated in Belton, lost by a somewhat closer margin in Raymore and a $4 million general obligation bond to build a new Peculiar police station received more “yes” votes than “no,” but still fell short of the 4/7 vote needed for passage, leaving officers in that town to continue making do in a dilapidated strip mall.

It all seemed part of an anti-tax mood that swept the metro this election as consumers continue to try keeping up with inflation. The sour mood was exemplified by the convincing loss the Kansas City Royals and back-to-back world champion Chiefs took at the ballot box in Jackson County Tuesday, leaving the two clubs in doubt as to their destinations following the 2030 expiration of the stadium leases at the Truman Sports Complex.

Even a recreation center proposed for family friendly Liberty was pounded to the tune of 75 percent to 25 percent.

For Belton Mayor Norm Larkey, the use tax question has been answered.

“We’re not going there again,” he said. “The people have spoken, and they don’t want it.”

For its fourth attempt at passing the sales tax for online purchases, Belton tried a unique approach this time, dedicating all proceeds from the tax to go toward the two areas Belton voters have expressed the greatest desire for – new and better maintained sidewalks, and water bill relief. City leaders knew they had to come up with a different approach when asked by the Belton Chamber of Commerce and Downtown Belton Main Street Inc., the city’s two largest organizations representing retail merchants. Merchants have consistently cited the competitive disadvantage they are at by having to add city sales tax to purchases from their establishments, while online merchants can legally undercut them by that amount.

Missouri and Cass County already have a use tax.

So when City Manager Joe Warren announced the plan to dedicate funds to sidwalks and water bill relief, it felt to the city council like the right chord had been struck. If passed, the city would deduct $12 from each water bill, and dedicate the rest to the sidewalk program. In real dollars, families would save $144 annually through the water bill relief. In order to spend more than that $144 in online sales tax, families would need to spend more than $4,500 with online retailers that don’t have a presence in Missouri. That means, dollars spent with Amazon and Chewy don’t count, because they have a Missouri presence and already charge sales tax.

Whether the dollars work out in reality or not, voters were in no mood for it. They showed it also in Raymore.

While the Belton measure lost 976-549, a 64 percent to 36 percent decision, Raymore’s was closer despite not having the support of its business community. Last month, the Raymore Chamber of Commerce voted against giving its endorsement to the measure. The city’s plans for the proceeds included additional police officers, parks and public works personnel, hence “Question P.” But Question P was also sent to the dust bin by a margin of 1,032-895, or 54 percent to 46 percent.

In another of the more talked-about area questions, Western Cass Fire Protection District of Cleveland, which has spent much of its last year in and out of the courtroom defending against lawsuits alleging financial mismanagement, Sunshine Law violations and mistreatment of the public and board members that attempted to question operations, thought this might be a good time to ask its citizens for an additional 50 cents on each $100 of assessed valuation “to provide funds for the support of the district.” In the most emphatic result in Cass County, save the unopposed candidates, voters shot it down 405-117, or 76 percent to 22 percent.

Meanwhile, the news wasn’t bad everywhere.

South Metro Fire Protection District asked for and received authorization to use $25 million in available general obligation bonds to upgrade equipment and buildings, and begin the process of acquiring land for and equipping an additional fire station. Because lead times on the manufacture of equipment has become so extended in recent years, Chief Lee Stevens said it was critical to be ready to invest earlier than in the past.

Voters approved the South Metro question 1,692-591, or 74 percent to 26 percent.

Voters also approved school district bond issues in both the Drexel and Cass Midway districts.

In the Village of Loch Lloyd, village voters did approve not only a use tax, but a first-ever 1 percent sales tax.

Following are results of the city council and board of alderman races in North Cass:



Ward 1 (1-year unexpired term)

Alex McCollum (I) 305 96.52%

Write-in 11 3.48%

Ward 1 (3-year term)

Patty Johnson 311 97.80%

Write-in 7 3.48%

Ward 2

Carla Davidson 227 57.32%

Angela Kraft (I) 164 41.41%

Write-in 5 1.26%

Ward 3

Allyson Lawson (I) 260 71.63%

James Callahan 96 26.45%

Ward 4

Wanda Thompson 179 53.59%

Gregory Schrodt 150 44.91%




Doug Stark (I) 488 49.19%

David Hayes 295 29.74%

Mike Gallagher 199 20.06%

Ward 1

Zach Poland 211 54.66%

Marlin Sexton 168 43.52%

Ward 2

John Shatto (I) 141 59.24%

Cayle Orstad 95 39.92%

Ward 3

Robert Wells 172 55.48%

John F. Kant (I) 129 41.61%



Ward 1

Brian Mills 263 63.07%

Reginald Townsend (I) 151 36.21%

Write-in 3 0.72%

Ward 2

Thomas Circo 360 86.96%

Write-in 54 13.04%

Ward 3

Jay Holman (I) 339 97.13%

Write-in 34 7.10%

Ward 4

Sonja Abdelgawad (I) 445 92.90%

Write-in 34 7.10%


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