Property taxes are never an easy sell in Kansas City, but a Kansas City Council committee today endorsed a ballot measure that calls for extending the city's indigent health care property tax for another nine years.
The full Council will vote on the ballot language Jan. 17, and nearly all council members have already signed on, so it's expected to easily pass. That means voters will consider the nine-year tax extension on the April 2 ballot.
Officials from Truman Medical Center and other health care providers told the Finance and Governance Committee today that, even if Obamacare is fully implemented in the coming years, it still won't cover all the health care needs for Kansas City citizens. Many people will remain uninsured or underinsured. Even if Medicaid gets expanded in the state -- which many Missouri legislators oppose -- officials said Medicaid reimbursements don't come close to covering all the costs.
Kansas City has a permanent health care property tax of 50-cents per $100 of assessed value. Voters in 2005 also approved an increase of 22-cents per $100 of assessed value, with the final tax collection at the end of 2013. That's what the city is now hoping voters will extend.