The Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors voted in August to support the City of Manhattan's pursuit of a .3% sales tax increase in November.
Obviously, these kinds of decisions are always difficult. However, after extensive research by the Business Advocacy Committee (BAC) as well as board members, the leadership of the organization feels strongly that Manhattan needs these infrastructure improvements for growth of the community. This initiative would provide for the funding for these projects without increasing the property tax burden of our businesses and residents. As a reminder, the projects outlined in the resolution passed by the city to be funded include: levy improvements, airport runway improvement, Douglass Recreation Center, North Campus Corridor, Aggieville redevelopment and a city maintenance facility.
Please see the statement below.
"The City of Manhattan is at a critical moment with an unprecedented investment in infrastructure. Complicating the necessary investments are flat or declining tax revenues due to a variety of contributing factors including internet sales, enrollment reductions, reductions/deployments of soldiers, slow private sector growth, and state or federal policy decisions. With the demands and opportunity that lie before the city requiring long-term funding, new tax revenue is needed.
Manhattan serves as a regional shopping and entertainment destination with visitor spending contributing significantly to our sales tax revenue. Data to support our regional attractiveness is found in our pull factor, which for 2018 measured 1.33. Sharing the considerable tax load with visitors, who benefit from Manhattan's infrastructure investment, is prudent and equitable.
The Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors recognizes the increasing tax burden on Manhattan residents and businesses. The cost of doing business in Manhattan is under great pressure due to the rise in both property and sales taxes. Also recognized are the increasing demands on our public infrastructure to provide a quality of place that sustains and attracts talent, the life blood of our local businesses. Weighing carefully the costs and benefits of a tax increase and the activities the tax will support, the Board finds the benefits of the infrastructure projects outweigh the additional tax burden. The Board also finds the use of sales tax, which collects tax revenue from visitors and residents, is an appropriate strategy versus raising the mill levy to support the infrastructure projects.
The Board of Directors of the Manhattan Area Chamber of Commerce supports the City's pursuit of a 0.3% sales tax increase and City of Manhattan Resolution No. 060419-E, which expresses the intent of use of funds from the measure."
For more information please see https://cityofmhk.com/3010/03-Sales-Tax-Initiative .
Thanks and have a great week,
Jason Smith, CEcD
President & CEO