The Chamber of Commerce is seeking a sales tax increase for the November ballot. The proposal asks for .5 percent. That would raise the current tax from 7.45% to 7.95%. The Chamber estimates the tax would bring in between 13 and 14 million dollars in revenue.
Karl Coupal is chairman of the Chamber's Board of Directors. He says the proposal would use the money to:
*Improve city streets, sidewalks, curbs, and gutters.
*Alleviate flooding concerns with rivers and tributaries within the city.
*Enhance the quality of life for Topeka residents and future residents.
Deputy Mayor Jeff Preisner says he believes there needs to be more discussion but an idea such as this would win his support. "I've always supported a sales tax increase dedicated to roadway and infrastructure improvements," said Preisner. "The bottom line is that the cost is on the rise. It will become a burden if you continue to pay for these improvements with property tax and not share that expense outside of your own community."
"I think the proposal they made (Tuesday) is a starting point for discussions in terms of whether the council believes we should put all or part of their proposal on the ballot," said Council member Richard Harman.
The council has scheduled additional work session where discussion will continue on this and other budgetary issues.