Voters in Salina are going to have a chance to decide whether or not to raise the sales tax.
City commissioners Monday approved a special mail-in election. Voters will decide whether or not to increase the current 8.40 percent sales tax to 8.75 percent.
Funds raised from the increased tax would be used to improve infrastructure. Improvements would include neighborhood streets and drainage, preserving a stable property tax rate, ensuring a quality park system, constructing and maintaining capital improvements, funding equipment, funding bonded debt issued for capital improvements, and continuing to support a fund managed by the City to attract quality jobs.
The new sales tax would be in effect for twenty years, from October of 2016 through September of 2036.
Salina currently has one of the lowest sales tax rates for comparable cities. Only Derby and Wichita is lower. If approved, the new rate of 8.75 percent would put Salina equal with Manhattan and Hays, but still lower then nearly every other comparable sized city in Kansas.
The special mail-in election will cost between $35,000 and $45,000.
Commissioners indicated that the question might got lost on the ballot in the general election, and said that traditionally mail-in elections get a much higher rate of ballots returned.
The mail-in ballot will go out to voters in Salina on May 10th.
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