Michael Bushnell

Jackson County voters on Tuesday, by a 58-42% margin, soundly defeated a new tax proposal that would have financed the construction of a new baseball stadium in the city’s Crossroads Arts District, displacing over two dozen small businesses in the process.

Election returns from both Kansas City and Jackson County came in early and quickly with the Kansas City Election Board posting their final, unofficial election results at roughly 8:35 pm Tuesday evening. With 100% of the precincts reporting, 53,238 ballots were cast inside the Kansas City city limits, representing a 24% voter turnout. Jackson County Question I was defeated by over 8,300 votes. Yes votes totaled 30,791 and No votes totaled 22,399.

The Jackson County Election Board was also unusually fast in posting their election returns, showing the first counted ballots at a little after 8:20 pm. By 9:30 pm, the county had tallied roughly 91% of the vote showing Question I being defeated by a 58-42% margin.

Shortly after those results were released by the county, Kansas City Mayor Quinton Lucas posted to his Facebook page, essentially conceding the race to the NO faction.

“The people of Kansas City and Jackson County love the Chiefs and the Royals,” Lucas said in his statement. “Over the months ahead, I look forward to working with the Chiefs and Royals to build a stronger, more open, and collaborative process that will ensure the teams, their events and investments remain in Kansas City for generations to come.”

Becky Nace, Chairperson of the Committee against New Royals Stadium Taxes was overjoyed with the result of Tuesday’s vote. “I am happy the voter’s voice was heard loud and clear,”  Nace said. “This was a diverse group of people who came together for a common cause. We were outspent but truth won out.”

Another group that organized quickly against the stadium proposal was KC Tenants, a city-wide tenants rights and advocacy organization. In a prepared statement, KC Tenants said, “We love our city. Because of that love, we refuse to pay for our own displacement. The proposed sales tax to fund the stadium would cost our neighbors $50 million each year for 40 years.”