Medical research tax initiative will go before Jackson County voters

umkcThe proposed $800 million combined research interests of UMKC and School of Medicine clinical affiliates Children’s Mercy Hospital and Saint Luke’s Hospital are now in the hands of Jackson Country voters.

Plans to place a half-cent sales tax to support the Jackson County Institute for Translational Research and Medicine before county voters on Nov. 5 received the approval of the Jackson County Legislature in August and have earned the support of Donald J. Hall and the Hall Family Foundation, which pledged $75 million to erect a new medical research building.

The proposed 20-year tax would raise an estimated $40 million a year to attract world-class researchers and provide them with the equipment, facilities and support staff necessary to work toward medical discoveries, treatments and cures. Children’s Mercy Hospital would receive $20 million per year and UMKC and Saint Luke’s Hospital would each receive $8 million annually to support the work and salaries of researchers. The remainder would be used for related economic development.

The nine-member Jackson County Legislature voted 7-2 to place the tax initiative on the November ballot. The tax is currently the only countywide issue on the ballot.

Hall and the Hall Family Foundation on Sept. 4 announced a commitment of $75 million for a four-story building north of Children’s Mercy Hospital with the Institute for Translational Research and Medicine occupying two floors of the facility. The commitment is good only if voters approve the tax in November.

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