SHAWNEE COUNTY (KSNT) – The “Vote Gage Park” ballot measure passed in November as voters showed they were ready to start supporting the park. However, the 0.2% sales tax increase isn’t being collected quite yet.
“It’s been estimated that over the year, this tax will bring in about $8 million,” State Representative Fred Patton said. “So I did a little quick math on my phone and it’s about $22 thousand a day.”
That’s how much Gage Park and the county stand to miss out on each day if the sales tax isn’t collected. County Commissioner Aaron Mays says he was caught by surprise when the issue was brought forward.
“Our interpretation was that that was supposed to go into effect on January first,” Mays said. “We feel like all of the necessary steps were taken to make that happen.”
Over the past few days, county leaders and residents have been figuring out the impact this could have.
Organizations in Gage Park like the Topeka Zoo received public funding before the new year. But in 2023, they’d start receiving funds from the County’s sales tax. However, this was not the case for all.
“The Discovery Center,” Patton said. “This would have been all new money for them.”
The Kansas Board of Revenue, which is responsible for collecting the tax, told 27 News it can’t collect taxes at this moment, they said in a statement.
“The statutes create a different effective date and the date when the tax can be collected and distributed,” A representative from KDOR said. “The collection and distribution cannot start until the first day of a new quarter after the initial 90 days after the notice of an election of the tax increase.”
KDOR says it can start collecting the tax dollars after April 1. County leaders tell 27 News that they are doing what they can to reach a solution before then.