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Augusta, Douglass approve sales taxes

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2012, at 8:03 a.m.
  • Updated Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2013, at 6:53 a.m.

Residents in two area towns approved sales tax issues on Tuesday, but early Wednesday, votes for a proposed sales tax in Valley Center were still being counted.

Augusta voters passed a 1 percent sales tax issue, showing solid approval with 72 percent voting for the sales tax.

The tax, which is expected to generate about $900,000 in revenue a year will go into effect in April and will help pay for a water line to El Dorado, as well other water and street projects.

The estimated cost of the city water line is $16 million to $20 million.

The sales tax will go on indefinitely until voters rescind it, said Augusta Mayor Kristey Williams.

“I think this is a great choice for Augusta,” Williams said. “It shows that people understand the severity of the situation we are in. This isn’t the best of economic times, but it is the best option for Augustans for our sustainability. The other option would have been to increase property taxes up to 20 mills or increase our water rates and fees. I think this is a very good option, and I am very excited.”

The tax applies to all taxable purchases made in the city.

“To me, it shows Augusta values their infrastructure,” Williams said.

Voters in Douglass also approved a sales tax, with 59 percent voting for it.

And voters in Valley Center were asked if they wanted a sales tax that would pay for nearly two-thirds of the cost of building a recreation center, including ball diamonds and soccer fields. The local school district would have funded the remaining cost.

As of 1 a.m. Wednesday, the votes were still being counted. However the Sedgwick County website was reporting the tax issue in Valley Center was being rejected by 64 percent of the voters.

Reach Beccy Tanner at 316-268-6336 or btanner@wichitaeagle.com

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