Patrick Tuohey
renaultAbout a year ago, on February 13, 2014, Kansas City Mayor Sly James told radio listeners that the city cannot take money from the airport.
[Fees] that are generated at the airport stay in the airport, to take care of the needs of the airport. . . . The money from the airport can’t be used for streets and sewers and none of that. . . . Airport money stays with the airport. If you don’t spend it on the airport, it doesn’t get spent.

He repeated it in his State of the City address in 2014 and again when his Airport Terminal Advisory Group issued their report. In that report, the advisory group repeated the claim, asserting on page 15,

Another common misperception was that funds or profits from the Aviation Department (legally organized and maintained as a Kansas City Enterprise Fund) could be used by the City of Kansas City to fund other municipal purposes unrelated to Airport operation.

The problem is that none of this is true. The city borrowed money from the airport in 2010. Then, during this mayor's tenure, the city renegotiated the debt to extend the life of the loan to 2016.

Need more? Look no further than page 179 of the mayor's own Submitted Budget for FY 2015-16, which includes $500,001 for "Aviation Loan Repayment."

KC FY2015-16 SubBudget

The mayor may have his own opinion on the airport, but he cannot have his own facts, much less two sets of facts.


About the Author

Patrick Tuohey
Patrick Tuohey
Senior Fellow of Municipal Policy

Patrick Tuohey works with taxpayers, media, and policymakers to foster understanding of the conse