News Flash

City of Manhattan News

Posted on: November 4, 2020

0.5% Recovery Sales Tax Initiative Passes

map of manhattan sales tax info passed

(MANHATTAN, KS – November 4, 2020) On November 3, Manhattan voters passed a ballot measure to adopt a 0.5% Economic Recovery and Relief sales tax. Riley County unofficial final results indicate 11,138 (YES) Manhattan residents for and 7,212 (NO) voted against the measure.

“It was important to ask the tax question early in order to allow for more opportunity to help with pandemic recovery initiatives. This frees up previously pledged funds to be held in reserve to pay future financing obligations on substantial infrastructure and economic development related projects.” said City Manager Ron Fehr. “Seeking responses by our local citizens in a high voter turnout election was very important. We look forward to working with the community and our community partners moving forward.”

The sales tax will take effect on January 1, 2023 and remain in effect for 10 years. The new City-wide 0.5% sales tax is anticipated to coincide with the expiration of 0.5% Riley County Sales that will sunset on December 31, 2022. The new 0.5% city sales tax will be levied within the entire city limits of Manhattan, including those portions of the City within Pottawatomie County. 

If no other state or local sales tax rate increases occur through 2023, the sales tax rate for Manhattan city limits within Riley County will remain at 8.95% beginning in 2023, and the rate will increase to 9.45% for Manhattan City limits within Pottawatomie County, which includes businesses east of Tuttle Creek Boulevard.

The tax is expected to generate a total of $65 million over 10 years. Spending will be dedicated to the following categories and projects:

  • 70% for debt and infrastructure to reduce the burden on property taxes
  • 20% for economic development to create new jobs and recruit new businesses to Manhattan
  • 10% for workforce housing, to include a comprehensive strategy to recruit, retain and create housing options for a growing workforce in Manhattan.

Information regarding the Economic Recovery and Relief sales tax the dedicated use of funds is available on the City’s website at

“Helping existing businesses stay viable or expand while retaining and our local work force will help maintain economic vitality and keep the community strong,” said Fehr. “Furthermore, the funds will assist in attracting new businesses to Manhattan that help attract new talent and retain existing talent.” 

Information about economic development spending is available as part of an annual report produced by the city. This report completes an accountability review of all recipients of Economic Development Funds to ensure compliance with existing agreements and to collect performance information. For every $1 the City spent or committed towards economic development since 1995, approximately $8.89 in private sector and other investments were made. The 2019 Economic Development Report is available on the City of Manhattan’s website at

The mission of the City of Manhattan is to sustain order and protect public safety, promote public health, preserve the built environment, and enhance economic vitality. The city supports a regional community in which individuals and families develop and thrive. More information about the City of Manhattan is available online at, on Facebook at /Cityofmanhattan and on Twitter @cityofmhk.

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