Manhattan city leaders say recent sales tax vote will help with pandemic relief

Coronavirus

MANHATTAN, Kan. (KSNT) – Manhattan city leaders said the recent sales tax vote will help with coronavirus pandemic relief soon.

Voters approved a city-wide, half-cent sales tax that will go into effect in 2023. This is replacing a Riley County sales tax that is expiring.

Jared Wasinger is the assistant to the city manager. He said the city was holding money aside for future projects and debt. However, now that they know this sales tax will be going into effect, they can use that money now to address the pandemic.

“We know that the COVID-19 pandemic has hit a lot of individuals and businesses in a lot of different ways,” Wasinger said. “How can we use those funds right now to help our community recover.”

Wasinger said they plan to work with the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce and the Manhattan City Commission to identify places the money could be used. He said they will start having public planning sessions in January and they want public input.

When the new sales tax goes in to effect it’s expected to bring in $6.5 million a year. Due to the way the ballot question was written, Wasinger said 70% of the money will go to infrastructure and debt, 20% will go towards job recruitment and retention, and 10% will go to workforce housing.

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