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Report: County legislators may override Frank White’s veto of stadium tax vote

Two of the four legislators who had supported the country executive’s veto have now changed their minds.

NFL: Arrowhead Stadium Views Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

According to a report from KSHB/41, two Jackson County legislators — both of whom had previously given public support to county executive Frank White’s veto of a ballot initiative to extend the current 3/8ths of a cent sales tax that funds the Truman Sports Complex — have now changed their minds.

This means that White’s opponents could muster the six votes needed to override his veto. which would put the sales tax extension on the April 2 ballot.

As we reported last week, the Kansas City Chiefs and Kansas City Royals have previously released a joint statement saying that if the sales tax is extended to 2064 (it is now set to expire in 2031, when the current stadium leases for both teams expire), both teams will commit to remaining in Jackson County.

The Chiefs have indicated that they intend to conduct an extensive renovation of their existing facility, while the Royals want to build a new downtown stadium at an as-yet-undecided location. If the Royals stay in Jackson County, one of the proposed locations for their new stadium — in North Kansas City, which is in Clay County — would be off the table.

White vetoed the ballot initiative last week, saying that the teams had not yet given the county an acceptable deal. At that time, four Jackson County legislators — Jeanie Lauer, Megan Marshall, Jalen Anderson and Sean Smith — released public statements supporting White’s action. With four of the nine country legislators in the country executive’s corner, a vote to override the veto seemed unlikely.

However, according to a document posted Friday evening on X by county legislator Manny Abarca, it appears that the teams have clarified their positions on what legislators had characterized as “10 unresolved issues” between them and the county.

With these clarifications in hand, KSHB reports that Anderson and Smith have now indicated their willingness to override White’s veto when the country legislature meets at 3 p.m. Monday.

If the veto is overridden, the sales tax extension will be put before the voters on April 2. If it passes, we can expect the Chiefs and Royals to remain in Jackson County for quite some time — and we’ll soon have more clarity on exactly what each team plans to do about their stadiums. But if it does not pass, it may be a while before there is much clarity at all.

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