Special tax district did its work, now set to end

Jeff Fox
What's going on
Jeff Fox

Missouri state auditor Nicole Galloway has given her blessing to the end of the Coronado Drive Transportation Development District in Blue Springs. 

The district collected a half-cent sales tax for 10 years, and that money paid off city bonds that improved Coronado east of Adams Dairy Parkway, the entrances to Walmart and Home Depot, and the I-70/Adams Dairy intersection, among other projects. 

Property owners in the area created the district in 2009 and then voted to approve the sales tax for up to 10 years starting in 2010. That tax raised $4.95 million. The tax expired July 31, 2019, and the district has notified the auditor’s office of its intent to dissolve. 

Missouri state auditor’s reports of local government usually come with a grade that could broadly be said to range from “Looks good” to “kindly get it together” to “wow, we’ve got trouble right here in River City.” There’s none of that in this report. The auditor is simply confirming that money came in, money went down, there are “no outstanding claims or causes of action pending” against the district, and the district can, as designed, go out of business. 

What jobs will be in demand? 

The state’s “Missouri Economic & Workforce Report 2021” offers a set of snapshots about Kansas City’s economy. Those include: 

• About half of all Missourians – just over 3 million people – hold jobs. About one in five of those workers are in Jackson, Platte, Clay, Ray and Cass counties. Wages run higher here and in St. Louis, but jobs are growing the fastest in the Ozarks and the northeast part of the state. 

• Of those 579,356 jobholders in the five KC metro counties, 23 percent were 55 or older in 2020; that figure was 19 percent a decade earlier. Forty percent hold at least an associate’s degree, compared with 37 percent statewide and 41 percent nationwide. 

• The area’s biggest employment sector is health care and social assistance with more than 82,800 jobs in 2020, up 1.4 percent in four years. Other big sectors: retail trade (62,400 jobs in 2020), professional, scientific and professional services (53,000), accommodation and food services (47,800) and manufacturing (44,600).  

So, where’s the expected growth? 

The report describes three types of jobs – now, next and later. A “now” job is one you can typically get with little or no experience and will require a high school diploma and short-term training on the job. Those expected to be in demand include personal care aides, home-health aides, food preparers and servers, taxi drivers and chauffeurs, and nonfarm animal caretakers. 

“Next” jobs typically require some certification, an associate’s degree, an apprenticeship, some experience and/or long-term training. Under that heading, the projected fastest-growing jobs include phlebotomists, occupational therapy assistants, physical therapy assistants, massage therapists and respiratory therapists. 

Then come the “later” jobs, which typically require at least a bachelor’s degree. The most growth is expected for information security analysts, statisticians, software developers, physician assistants and nurse practitioners. One example: Demand for “software developers, applications” is expected to grow by more than 2,000 workers by 2028 at a median wage of $88,153. 

Jeff Fox is The Examiner’s editor. Reach him at 816-350-6365, jeff.fox@examiner.net or on Twitter at @FoxEJC.