2016 legislative agenda

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Priority Level: High 

Support the development of increased transportation infrastructure including funding for highways, bridges, roads, and commuter rail in Eastern Jackson County.

Support equalization of the local tax applications by Missouri cities and counties for all businesses conducting business in Independence whether from a storefront or online including support of potential use tax and/or internet sales tax.

Work for the reform of Medicaid in Missouri to prevent the loss of hundreds of health care jobs in Eastern Jackson County due to the pending discontinuation of certain services at health care facilities and a reduction in health care services offered within the community to benefit from, or qualify for, the available federal funds.

Continue to fully support funding the A+ promise. Students who meet the requirements to receive A+ scholarship awards should receive full tuition and fees at a community college or area career/technical school.

Continue positive dialogue and understanding between the municipal utility company and the business community to achieve the best possible electric utility rates for Independence.

Support the Sales Tax Renewal for the Independence Police Department to continue funding for communication, equipment and facility maintenance.

*State Priorities bold/blue text

(Additional priorities on reverse side)

Priority Level: Moderate 

Support the efforts to redevelop 23rd Street, Truman Road, and 24 highway moving eastward from I-435 to Sterling by assisting with achievement of the following: 1. Improvement of security and maintenance along the roadway 2. Continuing the increased focus on code enforcement along the corridors 3. Facilitating efforts to utilize self-help financing mechanisms.

Support legislation that provides on-going funding for maintenance and improvement of the Independence transportation system.

Establish a policy with the Missouri Department of Economic Development which utilizes local wage data as the threshold in determining qualification for state incentive programs.

Priority Level: Low 

Support continued full accreditation of the Kansas City Public School District (KCPS) based upon their academic performance on the MSIP 5 accreditation process during the 2015-2016 school term.

Support Independence, Fort Osage, Raytown, and Blue Springs School Districts in addressing student transfer issues related to the Kansas City Public School District full accreditation process in the in the 2015-2016 school year.

Support the continuation of the State Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program as a necessary incentive for redevelopment and restoration of the many historic properties in Independence.

Support legislation to provide increased state funding for small business incubators.

Work with the City of Independence to balance the process for tax diversion (TIF) via tax incentives given so as not to harm the other taxing districts that rely on property taxes.

Support efforts to secure funding for the National Frontier Trails Museum.

Support the creation of an exploratory group made up of local business leaders and elected officials to discuss the merits and potential uses of a dedicated economic development sales tax.

The 2016 Legislative Agenda for the Independence Chamber of Commerce was developed by the Public Policy Committee and has been endorsed by the Board of Directors. All member businesses and organizations were invited during the summer months of 2015 to present proposals outlining needed legislative action for consideration by the committee through a series of three public hearings over a ten-week period. All legislative actions identified herein have been deemed important to the economic growth of Eastern Jackson County and the furtherance of a fruitful business environment in Independence. There is a recognition that some items are more time sensitive and/or present more immediate challenges or opportunities than others. As such, the identified priorities have been separated into three levels of desired action: high, moderate, and low.