The Jackson County Court Administrator's office today will mail out ballots to 697 downtown registered voters who qualified to vote in the downtown streetcar mail-in election.
Those ballots are due back to the court by Dec. 11.
Court officials said 739 applications for ballots were submitted, and 697 of those were confirmed and approved for ballots. That doesn't sound like many. Election officials have said that the downtown precincts within the streetcar district boundary have about 3,600 active voters registered, so it would be about 20 percent voting in this election, which is a typical turnout for a non-presidential election.
But this is an unusual election and does not involve going to the polls on a specified day. Instead, people receive a ballot in the mail, fill it out, and mail it back in a notarized envelope.
The streetcar district boundaries were approved in a previous mail-in election this summer. Now voters are asked to approve specific tax increases within those downtown boundaries to help pay for the streetcars, which are slated to run from River Market to Union Station, primarily on Main Street.
The ballot seeks voter approval for a 1-cent sales tax increase within the downtown district. It also seeks approval for a tax increase of 48-cents per $100 of assessed value on commercial property and a tax increase of 70 cents per $100 of assessed value on residential properties.
The owner of a $200,000 condo (market value) would pay $266 more in annual property taxes if this increase is approved. Commercial property owners would pay about $1,500 more annually for every $1 million of the commercial property's market value.