Some Kansas City leaders oppose early childhood tax proposal

Close-up of a voting ballot with a red pencil

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – A proposal to expand early childhood education across Kansas City is receiving pushback from some school and nonprofit leaders who say increasing the sales tax to fund the idea is inappropriate.

Mayor Sly James is proposing a three-eighths of a cent tax increase to fund the opening of preschool centers in parts of the city where none exist. The Kansas City Star reports that the tax increase would raise about $30 million a year.

Urban League of Greater Kansas City CEO Gwendolyn Grant expressed concern that the tax takes a bigger portion of income from the poor than the wealthy. Grant says research and history show low-income families pay more for goods and services.

Some school leaders question using taxpayer money to fund private education.

Voters will decide April 2.

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