The city of Wichita has launched a new website about its active community improvement districts, or CIDs, the special taxing districts designed to spur economic development in the city.
The website is available at www.wichita.gov/CID.
Two of the city's five CIDs will begin collecting taxes July 1. The Marriott Fairfield Inn & Suites Downtown and the Drury Plaza Hotel Broadview will open in the next few weeks — the Marriott on Friday, the Broadview next month.
Drury will add 2 percent to the sales tax rate at the Broadview to help finance the $29 million hotel renovation.
The Marriott project will also add 2 percent to the sales tax rate to help finance the $12 million project.
Each entry on the city's website includes some fast facts about the CID and a history of its approval. It will be administered by the city's Office of Urban Development.
Mark Elder, an analyst with the urban development office, said the site will be updated as new districts are approved with similar information.
The website is the public notification tool that grew out of a City Council debate.
Some council members sought signs on the doors of businesses in CID districts, alerting potential customers they'd be paying a higher sales tax rate.
Others favored a notice on cash register receipts spelling out the higher sales tax rate.
Council member Janet Miller said she favored those two "more restrictive" options but voted in support of the website proposal.
"It was the best we could get from the council in terms of posting notifications," she said.
"I would have preferred more specific information on the door or a cash register receipt, but there wasn't enough support for that on the council."
CIDs were created by the Kansas Legislature, and require local government approval — in these cases, from the Wichita City Council.
State law allows developers to petition municipalities to establish the districts, which can assess extra sales taxes of up to 2 percent to finance land acquisition and infrastructure construction.