.25% sales tax extension to be on Aug. 3 ballot

Meghan Flynn
Garden City Telegram

The expansion of the current .25% County General Purpose sales tax will be on the Aug. 3 ballot. 

The Finney County Commission approved a resolution to include a question of whether or not voters approve of extending the .25% sales tax at the Commission's regular meeting Monday. 

The sales tax began in 1997 and has been extended several times since, most recently in 2014. 

The Commission previously discussed the extension at their March 15 meeting.

Robert Reece, Finney County Administrator, said revenue from the sales tax is used to offset the county's property tax mill levy. 

About half of the sales tax revenue generated in Finney County comes from those who live outside of the county, Reece said. Just over $1 million is generated for the county with the sales tax, Garden City generates about the same and Holcomb generates about $85,000.

Linda Lobmeyer, Finney County counselor, said additionally the revenue will be used to improve infrastructure. 

"Basically we've designated this quarter of course for improvements of infrastructure and to pay the obligations to stabilize the tax mill levy," she said.

Commissioner Larry Jones said it's important that voters know that the question is not asking to approve an additional sales tax, they are just extending what's already in place.

"I think we need to just reiterate with voters that this is not a new, we're just extending it again, giving them the opportunity to vote on it again," he said. "We're not taxing them more." 

Reece said county residents will actually see a reduction as two other county sales taxes are expiring this year – the .15% Horse Thief Reservoir sales tax and another .25% general purpose sales tax for the CSC building. 

Commissioner William Clifford said county residents will see a fairly significant property tax reduction due to those sales taxes expiring, so extending the .25% General Purpose sales tax wouldn't add costs, it's already in place.

"A Garden City resident in Finney County would have a 6.8 mills of potential reduction in property tax, getting the county portion to the city, a Holcomb resident equal to 4 mills," he said. "It's a pretty significant numbers for property tax."

In other business: 

  • Changes to the county-wide fireworks regulations for the dates and times of sales and discharge were approved by the commission. The dates and times for the sale of fireworks is now from June 27 to July 5 from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. and the dates and times for the discharge of fireworks is from July 1-5 from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Andrew Lee was appointed to the Finney County Library Board for a four-year term beginning May 2021.
  • Anthony Forsen was appointed as the Trustee for the Sherlock Township Board.