Archive for Thursday, June 25, 2009

Edwardsville Council discusses possible special election

June 25, 2009

Following a suggestion from Edwardsville City Council member Mark Bishop, city staff reported Monday that a special election to increase the local sales tax could cost the city between $7,000-$9,000.

After some preliminary research into the issue, City Administrator Michael Webb gave the council a presentation regarding the process to increase the sales tax. There are still several questions to be answered, but Webb said an increase of 1 to 1.5 percent could result in a $150,000 increase in revenue.

Currently the city’s sales tax is at 7.3 percent, lower than many of the surrounding communities, including Bonner Springs, which is at 8.050 percent. Originally, Bishop suggested a special use tax increase, where the new revenue would go into a fund that would only be used for equipment and supplies for the police and fire departments, thus taking some of the strain off the general fund.

To increase the sales tax, an election is required, which is where the cost to the city comes into play. Webb said he spoke with the Wyandotte County Election Office about the process and was giving a rough estimate of the cost.

“I’d like to call the election commissioner again to see if we can get a better estimate than $7,000 to $9,000,” Webb said. “I’d like to get a little tighter on the cost because that’s a cost that as a city, we would bear.”

Other factors that need deciding are what type of election — regular polling sites or mail ballot — should be used and when the election would happen.

Following Webb’s report on the subject, Mayor John “Tiny” McTaggart said he thought the issue could be better discussed in a work session, so a discussion between council members can get going.

Other council members agreed, and a 6 p.m. work session Monday, July 13 was scheduled.

In other business Monday, the council:

• Approved, 4-0, with John Eickhoff absent, minutes from the June 8 meeting.

• Approved, 4-0, payment of bills totaling $103,684.94.

• Approved, 4-0, a fireworks permit to Steve Walker of J’s Fireworks, to operate a stand from July 1-4 at 10339 Kaw Drive.

• Heard a presentation from Patti Young and Kay Reeves with the Kaw Valley Golden Living Center. The two presented a check for $1,000 to Tammy Burgoon, a representative of the Parks and Recreation Committee.

“We hope you can put this to good use for our children,” Young said.

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