KC leaders rally against state bill that would cap sales taxes

More than a dozen government, labor and business leaders from Kansas City gathered Wednesday to speak out against state legislation that would limit the amount of sales tax the city can collect.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Phil Christofanelli, R-St. Charles, would cap the combined state and local sales tax rate at 14 percent.

Kansas City uses a variety of voter-approved sales taxes generally ranging between .25 percent and 1 percent to fund a range of municipal services. This year, those taxes will generate an estimated $247.7 million.

Currently, the combined city and state tax rate total 7.225 percent. However, “special district” levies push that number to 10.6 in downtown Kansas City. Under the bill’s language, additional impending levies could increase the total in some parts of the city to as high as 13.6 percent.

Leaders on hand Wednesday were unambiguous in their opposition to the bill.

“I’m not asking the state legislature to do anything other than leave us alone,” Mayor Sly James said.

Said Joe Reardon, president of the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce: “We strongly oppose the bill.”

Read more: Kansas City Star

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