Archive for Thursday, February 17, 2011

Wolf Creek Marketplace closing big factor in Basehor sales tax drop

Jane Ferris shops Wednesday around what’s left on the shelves at Wolf Creek Marketplace, 15256 Wolf Creek Parkway. Empty shelves, clearance baskets and a somber mood are all that remains as the grocery store prepares to shut down following disappointing sales since its opening in July 2009.

Jane Ferris shops Wednesday around what’s left on the shelves at Wolf Creek Marketplace, 15256 Wolf Creek Parkway. Empty shelves, clearance baskets and a somber mood are all that remains as the grocery store prepares to shut down following disappointing sales since its opening in July 2009.

February 17, 2011

Basehor’s city sales tax distributions fell by about $31,000 in 2010, according to Kansas Department of Revenue figures, and city administrator Mark Loughry said little detective work was required to figure out why.

Instead, one need only look north while moving on U.S. Highway 24-40 through Basehor, where an empty building sits where a tax-generating grocery store used to be.

Loughry said the closing of Wolf Creek Marketplace in February 2010 was a huge factor, perhaps the only real factor, in the 13 percent sales-tax drop from 2009 to 2010.

“We miss the grocery store,” he said.

A month-by-month look at the KDOR tax figures supports that theory.

Wolf Creek Marketplace opened in July 2009. Monthly city sales taxes from July through December — months when Basehor had a grocery store in 2009 but didn’t in 2010 — were down significantly from the monthly totals a year before, by double-digit percentages each month. The 2010 totals were closer to the same months’ totals in 2008, before the store opened.

Overall, distributions from the city’s one-cent sales tax fell from about $236,000 in 2009 to about $205,000 in 2010.

It was the largest sales-tax drop of any city in Leavenworth County. Tonganoxie and Lansing saw smaller decreases, by about 1 percent and 3 percent, respectively. Leavenworth sales taxes increased by a bit more than 1 percent.

Distributions of the county’s one-cent sales tax also increased in 2010, by a bit less than 1 percent.

Distributions of Bonner Springs’ 1.75-cent tax, though, fell by nearly as high a percentage as Basehor’s, at 12.7 percent.

Though the $31,000 drop demonstrates the cost of losing the store, Loughry said, it will not cause any serious damage to the city’s budget.

The city also gets a share of the county’s sales tax, and when those figures are included, he said, the city’s total sales tax collections were down by only about 1 percent.

And though a $31,000 drop is nothing to sneeze at, Loughry said, sales tax money goes into the city’s consolidated highway fund, not its general fund. The highway fund is used for long-term road projects, so the most damage it could cause would be to perhaps delay one project by a year, he said.

“I’m not going to say it’s not a hit,” Loughry said. “It’s $30,000 we could definitely use. But it wasn’t a hit to a point where we have to adjust our budget, or anything like that.”

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