Opinion Columns & Blogs

Topeka’s Mars plant shows what city sales tax can do

The Wall Street Journal did an article and photo gallery this week on the 10-month-old Mars candy factory in Topeka, a $270 million plant with 200 employees and “two production lines that can produce 8 million miniature Snickers candy bars and 39 million peanut M&M’s every day.” The coverage of the company’s first new chocolate factory in the U.S. in 35 years is worthy of a footnote for Wichitans, who are about to vote on a citywide sales tax that would support economic development: Mars received $9.1 million worth of incentives through Topeka’s Joint Economic Development Organization. Topeka prevailed over 80 other cities in 13 states to win the plant. An extension of the half-cent sales tax that enabled the deal is on Tuesday’s ballot in Topeka. – Rhonda Holman