City looking at sales tax for improvements

City of Wichita (KSN Photo)

WICHITA, Kansas – City leaders are considering adding a one cent sales tax to everything you buy within Wichita.

The purpose is to help grow the city’s economy.

The city says that adding a tax would generate and estimated $397 million over the five years.

Some residents say it is a good idea.

“One percent would be a significant start in the right direction,” said Tom Page, National Federation of the Blind. “It would at least allow the current system to improve in a marginal way.”

KSN asked how those dollars would be spent.

The city has four community projects that would benefit from the tax.

Number one is a new water source.

The plan would cost $375 million to build a 50 acre reservoir.

“We’re not getting much negative feedback about water,” said Jeff Blubaugh, Wichita City Council. “Everybody’s looking for a supply that’ll take us out to 2050.”

Other projects include additional money for street maintenance, a $90 million dollar job development fund, and stabilizing future finance with the transit.

“Some people see both sides. There wasn’t some type of guarantee that that is going to help grow the city and that it is going to be well managed,” said Blubaugh.

City leaders say Wichita is behind other local communities when it comes to adding on to the state sales tax.

Sedgwick County already adds one percent to the sales tax making it 7.15 percent of everything you have.

Derby adds a half a percent, while Haysville adds one percent.

For now, council members are still carefully weighing out their options before making a final decision.

The city want more input before making a decision.

There won’t be a vote until August.

Click here to get in contact with your city council member.


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