Here's What Topeka Wants To Do With The 1/2 Cent Sales Tax

TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) -- Whether you should keep paying an extra sales tax in Shawnee County, for how long and what it would pay for, were the major questions at Tuesday night's Topeka City Council meeting.

The majority of council members were in favor of extending the county-wide 1/2 cent sales tax, but the best way to utilize those tax dollars sparked debate.

District 9 City Councilman Richard Harmon came into the evening with a proposal to tell the county commissioners the city council supports extending the county wide half cent sales tax, to pay for street projects and improvements to the zoo and Kansas Expocentre, but Harmon also immediately proposed an amendment that the Expocentre funds be limited to the livestock arena, while they studied the benefits of a new downtown arena versus upgrading Landon Arena.

Councilman Chad Manspeaker Disagreed with Harmon saying the Expocentre still attracts big acts and it's more cost effective to renovate than build brand new.

Harmon's amendment created a deadlock amongst council members with the mayors no vote causing it to fail.

Members did approve amendments which clarified the extension would be no longer than 12 years, and that 1/3 of the sales tax revenue would go toward economic development, rather than a specific dollar amount.

The resolution also suggests the sales tax question be placed on the 2015 spring ballot. County commissioners will have the final say on how the question is worded and when you'll vote.

Tuesday night was also the first time council members took up discussion on Manspeaker's proposal to create a domestic partnership registry in Topeka. A vote is expected next Tuesday.


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