The city of Manhattan is considering raising revenue for future projects by raising the sales tax. City administrators went before the city commission last week to discuss raising the tax by 0.1 percent to one percent.
Deputy City Manager Jason Hilgers says the city, by law, has the ability to raise sales tax by up to two percent. The city’s sales tax is currently 8.95 percent and one percent of that is from the city.
“The billion dollars in sales that occurs in Manhattan on an annual basis, roughly $300 million of that comes from people who don’t live here so our visitors would actuallly be helping us,” said Hilgers.
City administrators are expected to go before the city commission again in April. Hilgers says they are suggesting a raise of 0.3 percent, which would bring the sales tax to 9.25 percent.
If the city commission approved, the proposal would be sent to Riley and Pottawatomie Counties to be added to the November ballot.
Hilgers says the city needs additional revenue to put towards future projects including raising the levee to reduce flooding.
“We have a three foot raise on the levee. The levee protects over a billion dollars in investment in our downtown,” said Hilgers.
Along with the levee, the city is also looking at reconstructing a runway at the Manhattan Airport, a revitilization of Aggieville and a number of other projects across the city.