WICHITA, Kansas – A new KSN poll conducted exclusively for KSN-TV by SurveyUSA shows a ballot measure to raise sales tax in Wichita could be an uphill battle.
The ballot would raise the city sales tax by one cent. It would go for a job creation fund, new water supply, roads and improved city transportation.
The poll found that “No” voters lead “Yes” voters 59 percent to 36 percent. The margin of error was +/- 3.9 percent.
The poll found the measure was opposed by young and old, male and female, white and minority.
Republicans oppose the sales tax increase 2-to-1. Independents oppose 5-to-2. Democrats split.
KSN asked city leaders and those for and against the tax what they think of the numbers.
City leaders say we have to have the tax especially for water.
“We don’t have the capacity to add debt to the water system without having a means to pay for the debt so, that would obviously mean a rate increase,” said Pete Meitzner, Wichita City Council member.
Meitzner says over the next four years, $250 million would add water capacity and solve some serious issues with an antiquated system.
He says if we don’t do the one cent sales tax now, the minimum numbers on increased fees would be $30 a month for each user if the tax fails.
The opposition remains, and it is very vocal.
“But, we remember the one poll that counts closes at 7 p.m. on November 4th, so the coalition will continue to work to get our message out,” said Jennifer Baysinger, Coalition for a Better Wichita.
Baysinger is with a group paying for television ads to get the word out to just say No.
Meanwhile, the Yes campaign is not giving up on the sales tax vote.
“I really believe in our community that we are going to show our children that we know how to solve our problems. That we know how to pass a great community on to them,” said John Rolph, Yes Wichita
SurveyUSA interviewed 800 city of Wichita adults from 10/20/14 through 10/26/14. Of the adults,722 were registered to vote. Of those registered, 633 were determined by SurveyUSA to be likely to vote on or before the 11/04/14 general election.