June 15, 2014

Goddard residents to vote on city sales tax increase

Voters in Goddard will decide Aug. 5 whether to increase the city’s sales tax.

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story contained incorrect sales tax percentages for Goddard.

Voters in Goddard will decide Aug. 5 whether to increase the city’s sales tax.

A resolution, passed at a Goddard City Council meeting April 19, calls for a 1 percent increase in the sales tax in the Goddard city limits with 75 percent of the collection going toward capital improvements and infrastructure and 25 percent toward general property tax relief.

Currently, the sales tax in Goddard is 7.15 percent, according to the city’s website. If passed, the sales tax in Goddard would increase to 8.15 percent and would not sunset, meaning there would be no end-date for the increase. Future councils could change that.

Brian Silcott, Goddard city administrator, said the tax increase is necessary for the growing suburb west of Wichita, which is in need of infrastructure repair.

“We have the unique situation of high traffic counts,” Silcott said. “Roads and sidewalks and other aspects improve the quality of life of our community.”

If Goddard had increased its sales tax 1 percent in 2013, Silcott said, it would have collected about an extra $402,500. More than $300,000 would have gone to public works projects and about $100,000 to property tax relief.

So far, there have been mixed reactions to the resolution, said Joe Torske, the Goddard City Council president. He suspects that once the council puts out an education campaign, many people will change their minds.

“Once they know why and what it could be used for,” he said, “that should make a big difference.”

If passed, sales tax collections will begin Jan. 1, 2015.

“This would be a substantial benefit to the community,” Silcott said, “not only to improve services and reduce cost but also to provide better standard of living and better quality of life.”

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