McPherson residents will have the opportunity to vote for an important issue on Nov. 7. To help voters understand the issue, the city recently hosted a series of eight community conversations. More than 200 residents attended the meetings and provided feedback related to street concerns and road improvement projects. I want to personally thank those who attended the meetings. Your questions and opinions will be instrumental in helping the city plan for the future.
The city of McPherson is focused on “Paving the Future” and 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 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. 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.
In the coming months, I invite voters to learn more about the ballot question. As you ponder the issue please 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 McPherson residents and allows for continued road improvement.
Conversations must continue as we educate the public about the half-cent sales tax renewal. Please contact me at 620-242-7727 if you have questions, comments or concerns. Thank you, McPherson residents, for caring about your community.
Larry Wiens, McPherson Commissioner of Streets