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Kansas City Wins Streetcar Legal Challenge

Portland TriMetro

A legal hurdle has been removed in the struggle to move ahead on a streetcar system for Kansas City.

A  panel of judges on the  Missouri Court of Appeals has dismissed a challenge to tax financing.

The three judges found a lower court was right and any legal challenge would have to be launched before the city gets underway on a project, such as the $102 million streetcar. 

Two property owners took issue with property and sales taxes to pay for the streetcar taxing district.

An earlier ruling by Jackson County Circuit Judge Peggy Stevens McGraw dismissed the claims. The appeals court decision upholds that dismissal.

Bob Henderson of the Polsinelli PC law firm was a trial attorney for the city and said the ruling shows a belated appeal won’t work.

“The guts of it though dealt with issues about whether or not issues should have been raised at the original proceeding in this case,” said Henderson. "That’s what the Court of Appeals focused on.”

The man and woman who filed suit, Sue Anne Burke and Jeffrey Rumaner have 15 days to find other legal remedies. 

They include asking for a ruling from the entire Missouri Court of Appeals Western District.

The challenge has delayed the City’s timing to issue bonds for the 2.2 mile streetcar anchored downtown.

While Henderson is not directly involved in the transportation project, he said he understands the City is prepared to proceed.

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