0.3% Sales Tax Initiative
Manhattan voters will be asked whether or not to raise the permanent sales tax rate by 0.3% on the November 5, 2019 election ballot. The increase would bring Manhattan's sales tax rate to 9.25% and generate an estimated $3 million in additional revenue for the City in the first year. The revenue would be used to fund six infrastructure projects.
On June 4, 2019, the City Commission passed a resolution calling for a special question during the 2019 General Election on November 5th to increase the general purpose sales tax by 0.3%.
The City Commission also passed a resolution dedicating the revenue from the sales tax increase, if passed, to fund six significant projects scheduled to occur over the next decade and debt financed over the next 30 years:
- Improvement of the Levee system, which protects the City from flooding. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has mandated certain improvements to the Levee and is funding 65% of the project.
- Implementation of the Aggieville Community Vision, constructing a public parking garage, streetscape, landscape and other improvements.
- North Campus Corridor improvements along College, Kimball, Denison and North Manhattan Avenues. KDOT, K-State Athletics, and the City/University Fund have each dedicated funding toward the project.
- Manhattan Regional Airport (MHK) runway and taxiway reconstruction. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is funding 90% of the project.
- Construction of the Douglass Recreation Center located at corner of S 10th Street and Fort Riley Boulevard.
- Construction of a combined City Maintenance Facility for Water, Wastewater, Street, Fleet, Forestry and Park Maintenance employees. Current facilities were built between 1920-1960 and are inadequate for current use.
This ballot question gives Manhattan voters the opportunity to fund these major projects through sales taxes (of which 25% of revenues comes from visitors to the community) as opposed to property taxes and/or not doing all or a portion of many of the projects.
Sales Tax Rates in Kansas
Compared to other First Class Cities in Kansas, Manhattan's current sales tax rate, 8.95%, ranks 18th out of 25. If the 0.3% sales tax increase passes, Manhattan's new rate of 9.25% would rank 10th out of 25.