Last week, Kansas City council approved a long-awaited economic tool that community members hope will boost development in the 18th and Vine Jazz District.
The ordinance, sponsored by Councilwoman Melissa Robinson and Councilman Brandon Ellington makes the area south of 18th Street, north of the rail road tracks, west of Highland Avenue, and east of The Paseo a community improvement district (CID). Making a district a CID allows the district to levy up to a 1% sales taxes on goods purchased in the district with the revenue generated from that tax used to help improve the district. Some of the services that funds could go towards include beautification, parking, trash collection and security.
Last June, the 18th and Vine Development Policy Committee gathered to share their concerns with the Jazz District. They developed a list of recommendations they believed would help improve the district. The list included making the Jazz District a CID to provide funding to help address some of the district’s needs. The committee’s concerns focused on issues like security, lighting, clean-up services and the district’s deteriorating parking lots.
Without the CID, it has been up to local businesses to fund services like security and clean-ups, but the CID could now provide a solution to help fund those needs.
“It is critical that 18th and Vine not continue to be on the back burner of the city’s priority list,” Robinson said in a June 28 press release. “If 18th and Vine is worthy enough to be highlighted as a worldwide tourist attraction it should be equally highlighted in the city’s investment package.”
A CID may finance new facilities or improvements to existing facilities that are for the use of the public, including sidewalks, parking lots, lighting and murals, and they can also be used to provide those public services like trash collection and security.
Districts like Brookside, River Market, Crossroads and Waldo are all CIDs that were created to strengthen the areas. Different CIDs have different focuses, depending on the needs of the community they’re serving, but they all levy additional sales tax to pay for district needs.
Jazz District community members hope the CID will truly improve the district and jumpstart development in the area.