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Royals ballpark tax funding still a work in progress

After an attempt to rush through a 3/8ths of one percent Jackson County sales tax to fund a new Royals ballpark and potential Arrowhead Stadium renovations for the Chiefs failed, the measure is being refined for a later vote.

We covered the initial attempt to pass the sales tax on Monday, when chairman DaRon McGee presented a proposal for the extension of the current sales tax. While not rejected by the county legislature, there were plenty of issues raised by legislators, including the lack of a clause requiring signed leases from the Royals and Chiefs before the sales tax is enacted, as well as the lack of a community benefits agreement. These are nonnegotiable items for many legislators.

These points were added to a final version presented to lawmakers, but it was decided to push a final vote to the end of December or early January. From the Kansas City Star:

Union and social justice groups advocating for that benefits agreement say the Royals should begin talks with them about what needs to go into the agreement. But the Royals say those discussions are more appropriate after a site has been selected.

Neither the county nor the teams have said how much they expect county taxpayers to spend for construction of a new baseball stadium and the renovation of Arrowhead Stadium.

And the Royals have yet to give any specifics on what other funding sources they have lined up to pay for construction of a ballpark to replace Kauffman Stadium.

So there are many moving pieces involved here. Part of the issue is that the sales tax is the only part of the funding equation operating under a strict deadline: it must be approved by the county legislature by Jan. 23, 2024 to be placed on the April 2 special election ballot.

Rendering courtesy Kansas City Royals.

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