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Posted on: April 18, 2011

Paving the Future

Paving the Future-FINAL

McPherson residents will have the opportunity to vote for an important issue on November 7. To help voters understand the issue, the City of McPherson recently hosted a series of community conversations. More than 200 residents attended the meetings and provided feedback related to street concerns and road improvement projects. Questions, concerns and opinions from the public are instrumental in helping the City plan for the future.

As the City of McPherson focuses on PAVING THE FUTURE, the ballot question will introduce a funding option to support ongoing street improvements. Currently, McPherson street infrastructure is funded by a half-cent sales tax, which was instituted by public vote in 2010. The half-cent sales tax generates approximately $1.5 million annually, and more than 25 street improvement projects have been completed using tax dollars collected during the first seven years.

Because the current half-cent sales tax will end in 2020, it is important to address the need to renew the tax or find an alternative funding source. Renewing the tax now will allow the City to confirm there are funds available for future projects. Budget planning will include costs related to project designs, securing right-of-ways and moving utilities. And public opinion will help identify residential street improvement priorities.

In the coming months, voters are urged to learn more about the ballot question. As they ponder the issue, it is important to consider two important factors. One, the half-cent sales tax is NOT a new tax. It is simply an extension of the sales tax already in place. Second, the City of McPherson receives an estimated 30 percent transference from sales tax. This means 30 percent or more of the sales tax collected is from patrons living outside McPherson, which lessens the tax burden on City of McPherson residents and allows for continued road improvement.

A vote YES will renew the current half-cent sales tax for another 10 years. A vote NO will result in the current half-cent sales tax ending on December 31, 2020, and the City will need to identify an alternative funding source for street improvements.

Conversations must continue as the City educates the public about the half-cent sales tax renewal. Questions, comments or concerns should be addressed to the Public Works Department or Commissioner of Streets, Larry Wiens, at 620.245.2545.

Learn more about PAVING THE FUTURE...
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