PRIDE & PROGRESS SALES TAX
If approved by voters in April, the City of Augusta 1% local option sales tax will be extended for ten more years. This will be a mail-in ballot election. The ballots will be counted April 26, 2016. This proposed 1% Pride & Progress sales tax will replace the existing 1% street sales tax that is scheduled to expire in September 2016.
THE BALLOT MEASURE:
Shall the City of Augusta, Kansas, be authorized to levy a one percent (1.0%) city-wide retailers' sales tax, with (1) 50% of such tax to be applied to pay the costs of maintenance, repair and improvements to streets in the City, (2) 20% of such tax to be applied to pay the costs of other capital improvement projects in the City, (3) 20% of such tax to be applied to reduce ad valorem property taxes in the City and (4) 10% of such tax to be applied to enhance the general fund of the City, and with collection of such sales tax to commence upon expiration of a current one percent (1.0%) city-wide sales tax, on October 1, 2016, and to expire on September 30, 2026; all pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 12-187 et seq. and K.S.A. 10-101 et seq.; as amended?
Will this Pride & Progress sales tax increase my tax burden?
No. This sales tax will replace the current 1% street sales tax that is scheduled to expire in September 2016. There will be no increase in the amount of sales tax you currently pay. The referendum on the April 26th mail in ballot, if approved by voters, would extend the current City sales tax rate for an additional 10 years.
How much money does the sales tax generate and how is the money spent?
A 1% local sales tax currently generates about $1.2 million annually. Half of the funding is applied towards maintenance and rehabilitation of city streets. Since 1991, the City has been able to complete over 11 miles of street reconstruction/overlays with sales ta money. The other half is divided up for other capital projects, property tax reduction, and General Fund. The City's General Fund pays for the general operations of the City, including police and fire, parks and recreation, community development, personnel costs, etc. Other major capital projects completed with sales tax money in recent years include the Corps Levee Project raising our flood protection from 100-yr to 500-yr levels, the state-mandated Augusta City Lake spillway reconstruction, and the new ADA soft surface playground in Garvin Park.
What capital projects will the money be spent on going forward?
Beyond streets, the City Council and Park Advisory Board are finalizing a list of projects that will heavily emphasize quality of life improvements for our community, including:
- Garvin Park Sports Complex (including parking, restrooms, and new concessions)
- Shryock Park Splash Pad
- Fishing Docks and Boat Ramps at Augusta City Lake
- Multi-use walking/biking tails within the City of Augusta
- Playground Enhancements
- Skate Park
In addition, the City will utilize some of the funding for construction of a new Public Works Building and pavement/utility improvements at the Augusta Municipal Airport to support continued expansion and our recently announced partnership with the City of Andover.
How does the sales tax reduce property taxes?
The sales tax is a revenue source that helps to pay for City operations, the same as property tax. The difference is that sales tax is paid by everyone who spends money in our community by purchasing goods at restaurants and retail establishments, including visitors and tourists. The value that the 1% sales tax adds to the City budget is the equivalent of 6.69 mills in property tax reduction, which is about a 15% reduction. Without this resource, the City would either need to raise property taxes and other fees to offset the loss, or start cutting services.