Patrick Touhey, the Western Missouri field manager of the libertarian Show-Me Institute, has his eye on the $800 million the City of Kansas City, Missouri, hopes to raise through the GO Bonds initiative. And what Touhey sees disturbs him.
Despite the obvious need for new infrastructure and enhanced maintenance, Touhey worries that political leaders “will fall back on old practices of moving money around.”
For fiscal year 2015, the City had allocated $187 million to Public Works. If the GO Bond passes in April, there is nothing in its language that would prevent the City from shifting its discretionary spending out of Public Works and into whatever adventure city leaders deem worthy. They could then use the Go Fund dollars to fill the gap and still honor the ballot language that restricts the money to public works projects.
“The fear is compounded by the Mayor’s refusal to commit to specific projects and timelines,” says Touhey. “He tells us that he doesn’t know what the city will be faced with in 20 years, yet he is fine with asking voters to commit to raising their taxes for 40 years.”