PITTSBURG — A quarter-cent sales tax, designated for road and sidewalk repair has passed.
“We’re happy,” Pittsburg City Manager Daron Hall said Tuesday night. “It means the people of Pittsburg think we’re doing a good job and we’ll continue to do good work.”
Voters approved the measure 687 to 243 — about 74 percent yes, to 26 percent no.
Hall said the sales tax would help make up for lost funding for streets through the Kansas Department of Transportation.
“We’ve lost a lot of public funding from KDOT set aside for streets,” Hall said in a previous story. “Streets and sidewalks are really how people first judge a city, well-maintained streets help cut wear and tear to vehicles, so having the funds to keep our streets and sidewalks in good shape is a win-win for everyone.”
With the approval, however, residents will still see an overall decrease in city sales tax. The current rate is 9.25 percent — with 6.5 percent going to the state, 1 percent going to Crawford County and 1.75 percent going to the city. However, the city will see a half-percent decrease in September, as it pays off bond debt from the construction of Pittsburg Fire Station No. 1 and the Beard-Shanks Law Enforcement Center. That will leave the Pittsburg rate at 9 percent.
Hall previously said the quarter-cent sales tax generates the same amount of money as an 8.3 mill increase to property taxes. One mill is equal to $1 per every $1,000 of assessed value. He also said using sales tax takes part of the burden off of property owners.
Additionally, sidewalk repair is currently the responsibility of the property owners. With the approval, the city may share the cost with the property owners. The property owner's share of the cost (50 percent) can be repaid over ten years.
Six roads were planned for repair with the city budget prior to the tax. With this approval, six more can be repaired with a total cost of about $2 million.
— Patrick Richardson is the managing editor of the Pittsburg Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com, or follow him on Twitter @PittEditor.