Archive for Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Leavenworth County voters approve 20-year sales tax extension

Leavenworth County approves mail-in measure with 67 percent of vote

A World War I doughboy statue stands outside the Leavenworth County Courthouse.

A World War I doughboy statue stands outside the Leavenworth County Courthouse.

February 4, 2015

A one-cent sales tax will be extended in Leavenworth County for 20 years.

Voters approved the mail ballot issue by 67 percent.

Leavenworth County had 9,702 voters say yes to the extension out of 14,453.

That was about a 42 percent voter turnout, according to Leavenworth County Clerk Janet Klasinski, who also is the count’s election officer.

The mail-in ballot’s deadline was noon Monday. The results won’t be official until Leavenworth County Commissioners canvass the votes Monday.

The sales tax first was implemented in 1996 to fund the Leavenworth County Justice Center.

The second extension, which was earmarked for County Road 1 and emergency communication upgrades, passed in 2005. Both of those measures were for 10 years. The current sales tax will expire in December 2016. The newly voted extension will be in effect until 2036.

The latest extension will finance capital improvements, infrastructure, facilities, equipment, debt reduction and economic development projects, with that money being divided among the county and its cities per a state formula.

Leavenworth County’s current one-cent sales tax is set to end in December 2016.

The tax currently provides about $7 million in revenue to the county. Leavenworth County gets about half of that revenue, while the rest is divided among its cities. Basehor and Tonganoxie, for instance, receive between $350,000 and $390,000 in revenue each.

As a charter resolution, three large projects must be completed with the tax extension money. Those projects are to extend Eisenhower Road in Lansing and Leavenworth to four lanes; McIntyre Road east of Kansas Highway 7, currently a gravel road, would be widened and improved; and Fairmont to Parallel roads in Basehor would also be widened and improved.

Ballots for the mail-in vote were distributed in the middle of January. Voters were able to mail the ballots back to the Leavenworth County Courthouse or drop off completed ballots at the courthouse in Leavenworth or the annex in Tonganoxie.

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