Bronson, Fort Scott, Fulton, Mapleton, Redfield and Uniontown all benefit from the upcoming proposed 1-percent sales tax that will be on the Nov. 3 Bourbon County Ballot.
In fact, if the proposal fails to renew (the sales tax has been in place for years), cities will have to make hard decisions concerning services they can provide their communities, according to authorities.
Several community officials have responded with what the possible impact on their communities will be.
“If a no vote prevails, each entity receiving this sales tax would have troubling decisions that would set our communities back even further,” Fort Scott’s Financial Director Susan Bancroft said. “Some communities may be forced to raise property taxes to cover lost revenue and some may face having to make the decision to unincorporate.”
“Citizens may ask why a sales tax rather than a property tax,” Bancroft said. ” Local residents and nonresident consumers buying in Bourbon County share in the revenue generated from a sales tax. Essentially, visiting consumers help financially support improvements in our communities versus a property tax solely coming from Bourbon County residents.’
“Currently, The City of Fort Scott generates roughly $750,000 per year from the 1% sales tax,” Bancroft said. “Approximately 67% ($500,000) of the sales tax is used for the street department for operations and basic maintenance to our city streets.”
“Additionally, 20% of the sales tax supports any capital improvements needed for parks, public safety, recreational facilities and public buildings,” she said. “The remaining 13% of the sales tax supports general fund operations for things such as: public parks, municipal airport, Woodland Hills Golf Course, aquatic center, Buck Run Community Center and public safety.”
FS Commission Recent Change: 90% Will Go To Streets
“At the October 6th commission meeting, the (Fort Scott)City Commission made a bold decision to change their current allocations of the 1% countywide sales tax to the street department,” Bancroft said. “The current 67% will increase to 90%, and will be dedicated to the street department for operations and maintenance if the sales tax passes on November 3rd. The remaining 10% will be used to continue to fund public parks, public buildings, recreational facilities, and public safety.”
Bronson, Fulton, Mapleton, Redfield and Uniontown use the portion of their sales tax to support general operations and are a significant part of their budgets, Bancroft said.
Bancroft broke down the following percentages for how much the countywide sales tax generates in each entity as a percentage of total revenue received:
- Bourbon County 35%
- Bronson 18%
- Fort Scott 11%
- Mapleton 29%
- Redfield 27%
- Uniontown 14%
“I encourage the citizens of Bourbon County to research the facts to understand the impact this vote could make on our county. The proposed sales tax is not a new sales tax. This sales tax is simply renewing the current sales tax in place, and for all entities, it is to support the day to day activities that keep our communities running.” Bancroft stated.
“The City of Bronson relies on the countywide sales tax to supplement our general fund to reduce the burden on property taxpayers,” according to Bronson City Clerk Ellen Harper. “Our general fund pays, in full or in part, expenses for general operations of the city wages, liability insurance, street maintenance, community center, library and parks. We would lose over $25,000 a year, which may not seem like much, but for a small city it would be detrimental to our finances. An estimated loss of 18% revenue would mean an approximate increase of 43 mills if it were to be added to property taxes. We couldn’t put that kind of burden on our citizens. So many services and benefits would have to be cut.”
“The City of Uniontown receives approximately $22,000 annually from this tax,” Uniontown City Clerk Sally Johnson said. “These funds are deposited to the general fund to help fund our public services to our community. These funds have not been earmarked for specific projects but have been used to fund a portion of patch material for city streets, culverts, ditch repairs, street lighting, signal light at Hwy. 3 intersection, help maintain the community center and much more. The City of Uniontown would like for citizens to consider renewing this tax so we can continue to provide services to our community.”
Fort Scott’s Finance Director Bancroft states “The City of Fort Scott depends heavily on the countywide sales tax. If the sales tax does not pass, the impact will be greater than the $750,000 generally generated from the sales tax. The $750,000 of sales tax will be lost revenue and an additional $500,000 will need to be cut from other areas to continue to supply the same essential operations and maintenance in the street department. This equates to 1.2 million dollars that would need to be cut if the countywide sales tax does not pass. Areas that would be affected are public safety, parks, economic development, recreational facilities, aquatic center and staffing.”
“Without the allocation of funds to the City of Fulton that are obtained through this sales tax, we would be cutting our yearly general fund in half,” Misty Adams, Mayor of Fulton said. “This would not be operable for our small town. The loss of revenue would be a huge loss and devastation for our small town and many other small rural communities. We would be operating in the red by year-end and be seeking assistance from our county commissioners. Without the passing of the 1% sale tax, we residents would see an increase in our property taxes and for some, this would create a financial hardship. Many small rural towns are housed by retirees who are budgeting their monthly expenses and are on fixed income, so increase in expenses is not what we are looking to do.”
The sales tax will appear on the Bourbon County November 3, 2020 ballot, as follows (taken from the county’s website):
Shall the following be adopted?
Shall Bourbon County, Kansas, levy (renew) a one percent countywide retailers’ sales tax to take effect on July 1, 2021, and expire on June 30, 2031, with the allocated shares pursuant to K.S.A. 2019 Supp. 12-192 to be used as follows: (1) to Bourbon County, for the purpose of maintenance and construction of hard surface roads, and (2) to each city located in Bourbon County, for the purpose of providing funding for public services?
To vote in favor of any question submitted upon the ballot, darken
the oval to the left of the word “YES”; to vote against it, darken
the oval to the left of the word “NO”.
10 thoughts on “Bourbon County Cities Need 1-percent Sales Tax Proposed on Nov. 3”
Just another reason to shop elsewhere or move. The county didn’t earn enough money, so instead of cutting cost, they just want us to pay more. Sorry guys, we’re ALL HURTING, learn how to tighten your belts.
Isn’t the jail making us money? How about the new wind farms that the commission approved even though residents opposed it?
Tuff Love, going to have to say “NO NEW TAXES”, Learn to operate within the parameters of your revenue. The more you tax residents, the more residents shop elsewhere, or just leave town.
Raising taxes is just the easy way out of solving civic financial problems. How about pay cuts and eliminate unneeded staff? How about getting rid of our pot growing ecomonic delovelpment mgr?
You want to raise taxes, then increase services. But it seems you want to raise taxes and decrease services. Not fair, not cool, not the way to take care of this issue.
We’re 6 miles from MO, 25 miles to Nevada, 29 miles to Pitsburg, we have options.
Maybe if you LOWERED sales tax residents would shop in town more, ever think of that? Maybe if you LOWERED property taxes, more people would move here, maybe if you didn’t re-access property that owners fix up and improve, the town wouldn’t look so run down?
Maybe our county leaders have it all wrong……
So, the expectation here, is that this tax would remain or be renewed and we can expect different results than have been seen since this (tax) has been in place for years…..blow smoke up someone else’s shoot….
“The current 67% will INCREASE to 90%, and will be DEDICATED to the STREET department for operations and maintenance if the sales tax passes on November 3rd.
THIS ALONE IS A GREAT REASON TO PASS THE SALES TAX!
The street maintenance is NOT doing a good job now, why would you give them more money?
This is what is wrong with this entire country. Depts are poorly run, do a crappy job, and then are rewarded with more money. They should have their budgets CUT until their performance meets a reasonable standard. When was the last time you got a raise at work for doing a crappy job? Unless you work for the Government, you’d get demoted and moved closer to the door
They have pledged to use 90% of this money to improve the streets.
They said it publicly and everybody is watching.
Everyone wants the streets to be improved.
Previously they were spending just under 70% on streets. What significant differences do you think there will be with the additional 20%?
I’m not saying that I’m against it, but if people don’t feel they were seeing the benefits of 70%, why do you think you’ll notice the difference with 90%.
I don’t believe they were spending 70% of the money on streets in the past. Big difference now.
Watch and see.
Question how much will be done with 0% being spent on the streets for the next 10 years?
In the article, the city specifically said that they were spending 67% on streets. What percentage do you think was being spent?
I don’t have a percentage, only a hunch.
However, the sleeping giant(us taxpayers) are awake on this issue now!
They know we are demanding our streets to be fixed !
This issue can no longer be avoided, delayed, blame shifted, etc.
Now down to business;
The article says the city spends 500,000 a year on streets.
Now they have pledged to use 90% which would be(using this articles numbers) $675,000 a year on streets.
That is of course a $175,000 a year increase.
We also have their public commitment to use this money on the streets.
Let’s give them a chance.
Never vote to approve ANY tax increase. It’s that simple.
Every single tax increase (sales, property,etc) is ALWAYS sold as being for Roads, Police, Fire, or Schools. We already pay plenty into those accounts. But they do half their job and spend all of their budget. So what do they do? Raise taxes, same old story. Not just this county, city, or state, they all do it because they know how stupid people are. They know if they disguise it as a “good cause” people will be dumb enough to not question. Proof is in ALL the taxes we already approved, but didn’t get what we paid for.
Do I want better roads? Sure, who doesn’t. But if roads are the main priority, then let’s take funding away from something that doesn’t benefit almost everyone.