City lists priorities in sales tax renewal bid
The Lansing City Council is putting its promises in writing in hopes the public will approve extension of the 1 percent countywide sales tax this spring.
The council on Thursday unanimously approved a charter ordinance that sets out how the city would spend its share of the tax receipts, if Leavenworth County voters renew the tax in an April 5 election.
The tax, which was approved overwhelmingly in 1996 to pay for the Leavenworth County Justice Center and projects in the county's cities, expires Dec. 31, 2006. The April referendum would allow its collection for another 10 years.
The charter ordinance spells out seven priorities for spending the city's share of the tax:
¢ City Hall expansion with a library
¢ Improvements on Gilman Road from Kansas Highway 7 to De Soto Road
¢ De Soto Road improvements from Ida Street to Eisenhower Road
¢ De Soto Road improvements from 4-H Road to Ida Street
¢ A city park
¢ Expenditures to assist with the economic growth and development of the city
¢ Infrastructure improvements.
"This is our statement of intent," Council member Robert Ulin noted.
"It's our promise not to do anything else with sale tax money until we accomplish this," Mayor Ken Bernard added.
The council's action came after a presentation by Bernard, who noted the city of Lansing receives 9.72 percent of the total tax collected by the county - or about $610,000 annually. The county's share is about $2.7 million.
In other words, he said, the sales tax provides enough money that if the city and county had to raise the same amount in property taxes it would require an increase of 12.09 mills in Lansing. A mill is $1 in taxes for every $1,000 in assessed valuation. On a $100,000 house, 12.09 mills would equal $210.23 in taxes.
"The real advantage is you are generating taxes from individuals who come through your city who don't pay property taxes," Ulin said.
In other business Thursday, the council:
¢ Recognized the city's "Employee of the Quarter," Sgt. Tony Waterman of the Lansing Police Department.
¢ Recognized Hallmark Cards, Wal-Mart, Main Street Auto Body and Tow, Rusty Eck Ford, Firestone and City Administrator Mike Smith for their support of the Drug Abuse Resistance Education (D.A.R.E.) program, which this spring will mark its 14th year of instruction to Lansing Intermediate School fifth-graders.
¢ Heard a report from Leavenworth Area Development regarding its economic development efforts.
¢ Agreed to discuss, at the urging of council member David Trinkle Jr., alley problems during a future study session.