The City of Atchison will be considering a Save Our Streets (SOS) sales tax of 1.0% by special ballot during Tuesday’s special commission meeting.
The two New Business items on the agenda include a resolution calling for a special ballot referendum, with city residents able to consider adding the sales tax for transportation infrastructure – streets, curbs, sidewalks, and alleys – and property tax relief.
A recent community survey indicated that two of the largest issues facing the city were poor street and alley conditions and high property taxes.
The second resolution would set the appropriation of the tax, if it passes, to be used solely for those two purposes.
“This is the City trying to be responsive to needs as identified by residents,” Assistant City Manager Joe Warren said. “The referendum allows residents to decide for themselves if the City should spend more money on streets, lower property taxes, and create the necessary revenue source to do both.”
The resolution would set the special ballot, which could take place by mail ballot, or could be a special in-person election. City staff is trying to work out with the County election officer how to best move forward. During a recent Commission budget workshop, commissioners expressed a desire to use a mail ballot if possible – giving all registered voters an opportunity to participate.
The special meeting was necessary because next week’s regular meeting was canceled due to multiple commissioners being unavailable. The next regular meeting is not until June 6, and City leaders were needing to know the results of the sales tax referendum in time to estimate the 2023 Revenue Neutral Rate – which is due to the County Clerk by July 15.
“Our timeline is faster than we’d normally want because we are trying to prepare the 2023 budget and we have hard deadlines that we have to meet,” Warren said.
The meeting is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday in the Commission Room. Click here for the full agenda.
For more information on the Save Our Streets referendum, click here.
FROM THE NEWS ROOM
Video from Sales Tax Forum Live
The video from the Save Our Streets Sales Tax Forum on June 14 is live: The special ballot question will be put to city voters on Thursday, July 14. Advanced voting is available at the Atchison County Courthouse.
Where Do Property and Sales Taxes Go?
With the Save Our Streets Sales Tax Question by special ballot on Thursday, July 14, there has been some question as to where current City property and sales taxes go. The short answer is Police, Fire and Public Works, which make up the majority of the city budget, cost more
Why are Property Taxes High?
If voters approve the SOS – Save Our Streets Sales Tax Referendum in July, that would lead to a lowering of City property taxes (that Resolution has already been approved by the City Commission in case the sales tax question is approved). The City portion of property tax bills would
Voters Can Lower Property Tax Rates by Approving Sales Tax Question
By approving a 1% sales tax for street infrastructure and property tax relief – residents would be lowering the amount they pay for property taxes:
Sales Tax Comparisons
How much will it cost for better streets and lower property taxes? Probably not as much as you would think.