Groups square off in debate over sales tax referendum

WICHITA, Kansas – A vote on a new 1% sales tax for Wichita is coming in November and groups from both sides of the issue are arguing for their cause. The Young Professionals of Wichita is hosting a pro-con forum to help break down the numbers and to make sense of the sales tax referendum.

The tax will generate $400 million to pay for a major water project, other money raised would go toward public transportation and road maintenance.

The two groups squaring off in the latest sales tax debate are the Coalition for a Better Wichita, which is against the tax, and Yes Wichita!, which supports it.

“I don’t that you get more vital than projects like water buses streets and jobs these are the core elements you build a great community on…and we’re either going to pay for this through a sales tax that ends in 5 years or property tax or other ways we have to figure out a solution to these problems,” said John Rolph with Yes Wichita!

“The biggest problem with this tax plan is people are being led to believe that we’re in a water emergency and that we must quickly act on this issue when in reality we have plenty of time to slow down and come back with a solid plan for citizens to vote on,” said Jennifer Baysinger with the Coalition for a Better Wichita.

The issue goes for a city wide vote November 4.  If approved the sales tax would expire in five years.

The debate is far from over.The Kansas Policy Institute is hosting a conference on the sales tax including experts from around the state on September 19th.


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