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A small portion of property tax has always been designated for basic road improvements. However, prior to the implementation of the first half-cent sales tax there were not enough resources to cover large street projects. Only preventative maintenance was performed.
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An advantage to property tax is that lower income families who do not own property are not directly affected. Disadvantages to property tax are that only property owners pay the tax and no transference occurs meaning only McPherson residents pay the tax. Advantages to sales tax are 30 percent or more of the tax is paid by non-residents and all citizens contribute to the tax. The disadvantage to sales tax is all citizens pay the tax including lower income families.
If the half-cent sales tax is not renewed or some other funding source is not identified, street projects such as preventative maintenance, street department forces and equipment would all be at risk. Streets will also deteriorate faster and services such as snow removal will be diminished.
The first half-cent sales tax is dedicated to street infrastructure. The second half-cent sales tax is project specific and is designated to fund the First Street reconstruction project, the community building renovation currently under design, hiking & biking trails and parks & recreation facilities.
It is estimated 30 percent or more sales tax collected in McPherson is collected from non-residents.
By State law a specific tax can only be in place for 10 years; thus, a new tax for another 10 years must be approved by public vote.
Each half-cent sales tax is in place for 10 years. The first tax, dedicated to street infrastructure, began on January 1, 2011, and will sunset on December 31, 2020. The second tax, dedicated to specific projects, began on October 1, 2013, and will sunset on September 30, 2022.
The current mill levy is $138.929 per $1,000 of assessed value.
Ad valorem or property tax currently funds six areas including State (1.5 mills); County (30.158 mills); State USD (20 mills); USD 418 (29.653 mills); City (51.570 mills) and McPherson Recreation Commission (6 mills).
Yes, currently $350,000 is transferred from the general fund and applied to the street department budget.
Transparency is operating with full disclosure to citizenry.
Street infrastructure was only funded by the general fund prior to 2010.
If the half-cent sales tax is renewed, a Cost Benefit Factor (CBF) will be used to prioritize street projects. The City Commission is also committed to addressing at least two projects from each City quadrant as identified by the public.