Archive for Thursday, April 7, 2005

County voters OK sales tax, marriage amendment

April 7, 2005

By nearly a 2-to-1 margin, Leavenworth County voters approved a 10-year extension of a one-cent sales tax for county and city projects.

According to final-but-unofficial results from the Leavenworth County clerk's office, 8,724 voters cast their ballots in favor of the sales tax's renewal against 4,632 in opposition. The vote totals will be finalized after a canvass Friday, April 8.

The vote margin for Leavenworth County overall mirrored that of returns from Basehor and surrounding precincts. According to the clerk's office, voters in the Basehor precinct approved the sales tax, 504 to 229. In Fairmount Township, it passed 238 to 137 and in Glenwood township, 375 to 179.

In Tonganoxie, the measure passed 413 to 199. In Lansing's four voter precincts, the question was approved, 1,384 to 793.

Basehor Chamber of Commerce member Debbie Bonee worked on a Leavenworth County committee organized to promote the sales tax initiative. She spearheaded local efforts to provide information to voters about the sales tax and its benefit to the county overall and Basehor specifically.

Bonee said she was happy the efforts of volunteers paid off.

"I'm pleased that it passed," she said. "It's definitely good for Basehor, and it's good for economic development."

Revenue from the sales tax is divided between the county and local cities based on a formula that includes population and assessed property values. Projections indicate that, in 2007, the sales tax will generate $183,000 for Basehor, $230,000 for Tonganoxie and $632,000 for Lansing.

For Leavenworth County government, the sales tax would raise $2.7 million two years from now.

Each city in the county has designated what projects the sales tax revenue will be used to fund. In Basehor those projects include overlays to original Basehor streets and improving streets such as 155th. It could also provide matching funds to acquire state and federal grants.

Leavenworth County has earmarked its sales tax money for improving county roads 5 and 8, upgrading its communications system for local emergency responders and helping pay for an entrance road to a future Interstate 70 interchange.

County voters approve marriage amendment

Following a statewide trend, Leavenworth County voters overwhelmingly approved a question that bans same sex marriages by nearly a 3 to 1 margin.

The question asked whether the state's constitution should define marriage as a civil contract between two persons of the opposite sex and declaring all other marriages to be contrary to public policy and void.

In Leavenworth County, the amendment passed, 9,866 in favor to 3,557 against. In Basehor, 561 residents voted in favor of the marriage amendment and 170 against.

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