Kingman County Commissioners decided Tuesday to move forward with a special election on a countywide, one-cent retailers' sales tax. The commission set a special election date of April 8.
Commissioners had discussed the tax at their Feb. 10 meeting. On Tuesday, they received the information needed to finalize the election from Kevin Cowan of Gilmore & Bell, P.C., the county's bond counsel.
The resolution authorizing the special election states the purpose of the tax will be "financing capital improvements including a new law enforcement center and providing general property tax relief."
The county has been working toward building a new LEC for more than a year. A design for a building was created by BG Architects. The commission opted last week not to move forward with bid-ready construction plans for that design. Among their concerns was the estimated cost of the project.
Commissioner John Steffen said the resolution defining how the revenue from the one-cent tax will be used makes an important distinction.
"We will look at 'an' LEC, not necessarily 'the' LEC we've been working on," he said.
If approved, the one-cent sales tax would go into effect on Oct. 1 or as soon thereafter as possible and remain in force for 20 years. Revenues would be shared among the county and the county's seven incorporated cities.
The county currently has a three-quarter cent sales tax for roads and bridges that raised $682,000 in 2013, according to the Kansas Department of Revenue. That tax expires in 2020.
Based on those revenues, a one-cent countywide sales tax is projected to raise approximately $910,000 annually. Of that, the county would receive 63 percent or approximately $576,875 annually.
The City of Kingman would receive 26.5 percent or approximately $241,562. The cities of Cunningham and Norwich each would receive 4 percent or approximately $36,400. The cities of Nashville, Penalosa, Spivey and Zenda would each receive less than 1 percent of the annual revenue. Distribution is based on a two-part formula that takes into account property taxes levied and population.