Audit questions how anti-crime tax money was spent

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) – An audit has found that millions of dollars generated by a Kansas City-area anti-drug and violence sales tax has been spent on unrelated expenses.

The report released Wednesday found that the amount of revenue the 30-year-old COMBAT sales tax was expected to generate was chronically underestimated starting in 2010. The extra money created a kind of slush fund that was used to pay for non-crime-fighting related expenses like a pedestrian trail.

Jackson County Prosecutor Jean Peters Baker, who commissioned the audit, said that money will now be used to “address the crime and violence that’s occurring in this county right now.”

County executive Frank White’s staff is reviewing the findings before commenting. The audit says White and his predecessor often approved the questioned spending by saying it was “emergency status.”

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