Sales tax collections within Kansas City’s downtown streetcar taxing district grew considerably in the past two years, even before the streetcar started operating.
According to the latest data from the Kansas City Finance Department, collections from that 1-cent sales tax within the district have grown 58 percent from fiscal year 2014 through the 2016 fiscal year, which ended April 30. By comparison, overall sales tax receipts citywide grew 16 percent over that same time frame.
The downtown taxing district adds a 1 percent sales tax for businesses operating within the district, and the money goes to help cover the capital, operations and maintenance of the line. Tom Gerend, executive director of the KC Streetcar Authority, said the agency is eager to see the impact that actual streetcar operations will have for downtown businesses, and is starting to do some surveys to gauge that impact.
The streetcar’s ridership numbers have also exceeded estimations, averaging 6,365 riders a day through July 31.