Jackson County voters today overwhelmingly renewed the county’s quarter-cent sales tax to combat drugs and promote treatment and prevention.
COMBAT – which stands for Community-Backed Anti-Drug Tax – passing with more than 71 percent of the voters’ support.
In Kansas City precincts, COMBAT passed with 75 percent support; in eastern Jackson County precincts, 68 percent of voters favored it.
“It’s difficult to vote for a tax, even a renewal, in the teeth of a recession,” County Executive Mike Sanders told supporters gathered tonight at the Westport Flea Market.
Sanders, who said he didn’t expect the result to be so overwhelmingly in support of COMBAT, thanked supporters. He added that was gratified that voters had expressed such confidence in the county’s anti-drug program.
Sanders also pledged to work to make COMBAT programs better.
Bob Gough of the Jackson County Taxpayers Association, which had opposed the tax renewal, said, “I’m very disappointed.”
He was a bit surprised by the wide margin in the early returns. “They spent several hundred thousand on this campaign and the opposite side spent practically nothing,” he said.
Gough said he would like to see more transparency in how the county spends those tax dollars.