Newsbrief: COMBAT Anti-Drug Tax Passes in Kansas City 8/8/03

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Last week, DRCNet reported on the first organized efforts to defeat the Jackson County, MO, anti-drug sales tax -- the only such tax in the nation ( The cutely named COMBAT (Community-Backed Anti-Drug Tax), which pumps about $20 million a year into drug courts, drug treatment, and drug law enforcement in the greater Kansas City area, was criticized by opponents as an ineffective waste of tax dollars.

But supported by the Kansas City and Jackson County political establishments and local media, particularly the Kansas City Star, the tax was renewed for another seven years on Tuesday by a margin of 64% to 36%. One pro-COMBAT anti-crime group kicked in $120,000 to campaign for the tax, while Jackson County Taxpayers, one of two groups urging its repeal, spent $300. The other group, the Organized Opposition to the Jackson County Drug Tax, spent no funds.

Voters initially approved the tax in 1989 and renewed it in 1995. The quarter-cent tax funds some 80 programs, with 28.5% of revenues this year going to police, 28.5% going to drug treatment and prevention (i.e., the DARE program), 33% going to drug courts, and 10% going to raise more money for anti-drug programs.

Despite being unable to block the tax's renewal, the campaign against it was notable for bringing together conservative white suburbanites and left-leaning inner city black activists in a converging critique of the drug war. Over the top in 2010?

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Issue #299, 8/8/03 Note to Readers: Issue #300 and Name Change Coming Up, New Format | Bolivia's Morales Seeks Honest Enforcement Against Traffickers, Not Repression | Marinol Death Sentence: Oregon Man Denied Liver Transplant Because of Prescription -- He's Not the Only One | The Drug War's Daily Grind: One Month in One Police District in Washington, DC | August is Drug Reform Lobbying Month at Home! | Perry Fund Accepting Applications for 2003-2004 and 2004-2005 School Years, Providing Scholarships for Students Losing Aid Because of Drug Convictions | Newsbrief: Justice Department Orders Government Lawyers to Appeal "Soft" Sentences, Report on Judges Who Issue Them | Newsbrief: Tulia Pardon Decision in Governor's Hands | Newsbrief: COMBAT Anti-Drug Tax Passes in Kansas City | Newsbrief: This Week's Corrupt Cops Story | Newsbrief: Tampa Police Enjoying Seized Cars | Newsbrief: Doctrinaire Drug Warrior Confirmed as DEA Head | Newsbrief: Kentucky Teacher Fired for Promoting Hemp Wins Settlement | Newsbrief: Argentina Leads Latin America in Jailed Drug Offenders | Newsbrief: Marijuana Reform Stalled in New Zealand | The Reformer's Calendar
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