Half-cent tax warrants support

On April 2, residents of Garden City will be asked to vote to authorize the extension of the existing one-half of 1 percent (0.50 percent) city sales tax. A vote of "yes" will authorize the continuation of the sales tax for an additional 10 years, whereas a vote of "no" will allow the tax to end on Oct. 1, 2015.

The Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors publicly endorses the extension of the current city sales tax by encouraging all residents to vote "yes" on the April 2 ballot question regarding the sales tax.

The chamber board of directors believes that the extension of the city sales tax is in complete accord with the chamber's published 2013 Legislative Agenda. The chamber's Legislative Agenda taxation policy states "it is paramount to create a tax environment that encourages economic growth and allows us to be competitive with other communities and other states." The city sales tax allows consumers who shop in Garden City, many of whom come from other communities, to contribute to a revenue stream that is used by city leaders to maintain and enhance the business environment in Garden City. Future retail development in our city will certainly increase the momentum our retail community already has and consequently revenue from this sales tax is likely to increase. The sunset provision in the proposal (expiration after 10 years) gives our local community leaders control of the city's revenue sources and the flexibility needed to use such revenue in ways that best serve our city. The chamber's Legislative Agenda also highlights the importance of balance between sales, income and property taxes. Without the city sales tax, property taxes will have to be increased or city services eliminated, thus disturbing the current balance of revenue that has helped Garden City become the economic hub of western Kansas.

The Garden City Area Chamber Board of Directors hopes that we all take the time to go to the polls and vote "yes" to continue the city sales tax.



Garden City

Reynolds is board chairman of the Garden City Area Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.