GARDEN CITY, Kansas – Garden City attracts consumers throughout southwest Kansas and the county uses that to its advantage.
“We’re such a regional draw,” said Garden City Chamber of Commerce President Steve Dyer, “we bring in from a hundred mile radius.”
“A sales tax is much fairer than a property tax considering much of our income of transactions and sales that happen in Garden City and Finney County, 50 to 60 percent of it come from outside,” said Garden City business owner Shonda Collins.
County leaders said tax money benefits more than just the residents of Finney County.
“There are some juvenile detention centers that have shut down, and they’ve had to send their young people here to Garden City,” said County Commissioner Cliff Mayo.
With the tax used to build the Law Enforcement Center set to expire in July, county commissioners want to continue it and put the funds toward the $6,000,000 Finney County Correction Services Center.
It will be built on county land next to the Juvenile Detention Center and combine youth services, community corrections, and court services all in one place.
“It’s very important to rehabilitate our youth and to make sure we have a safe community,” said Dyer, “and physical structures don’t always do that , but it sure makes it easier when you’re not on top of each other and you have a space to be able to work.”
The cities of Holcomb and Garden City would put their share of the tax into general city funds in an effort to keep their property taxes down.
If renewed the sales tax would stay at 8.3 percent which commissioners said is lower than surrounding areas, and it would go away.
“It’s not a continual sales tax,” said Mayo. “Once it’s paid off, it goes away.”
The tax is estimated to last around seven to nine years. The special election is on March 4th.