treet tax renewal on ballot in Platte City Transportation tax renewals proposed 10.31.18
Voters in Platte City will decide on a question dealing with road funding at next Tuesday’s election.
Platte City Board of Aldermen approved placing a question on the Nov. 6 general election ballot asking voters to decide whether or not to approve an extension of the city’s current 3/8 cent sales tax for transportation.
The ballot measure asks voter approval to maintain the existing sales tax with a 20 year sunset provision.
The city’s existing 3/8th cent transportation sales tax was approved in 2005 with a 20 year sunset expiring in 2025. The approximately $360,000 in annual revenue from this sales tax can be used only for transportation items inside the city limits and is the city’s single largest funding source for maintenance, repair and improvements to city streets, roads, sidewalks, curbs and gutter.
Throughout the term of the current tax the city has used this only for street improvement and maintenance projects; sales tax funds have not been used for city staff salary or benefits, nor is there any intent to change fund use during the extension period.
Approving the 20-year extension does not increase the existing city sales tax rate and does not generate any additional revenue. Not extending the sales tax would reduce the city’s overall sales tax rate and would reduce the funding available to maintain, improve and repair city streets by $360,000 each year.
City officials say this ballot measure is going to the voters well before the current tax term expires in order to improve the city’s ability to make long term street maintenance and improvement plans and commitments. City officials have said that as large street programs have such a long lead time, it is very beneficial to safeguard the transportation funding source for at least the length of time needed to plan, design, fund and construct major street and road projects.
An early extension decision also allows the city to move forward more rapidly on smaller street and road projects knowing that there is a secure funding source available for future street and road projects.
City officials have said the most pressing street improvement projects in Platte City are installing traffic signals at the intersection of Kentucky Avenue and Platte Falls Road, improving the traffic signals at Running Horse and Platte Falls Road, creating a pedestrian crossing of Running Horse near the YMCA and improving the intersection and sidewalk system at Fourth Street and West Gates Drive.
If the sales tax extension is approved next week, the city will be in a financial position to begin construction of at least one of these projects as early as the spring of 2019. If the tax extension is not approved, these projects will be delayed until other funds can be identified and accumulated.
The existing transportation sales tax revenue has been used to fund long term street capital improvements including Fourth Street reconstruction, Kentucky Avenue extension and Marshall Street/Hwy. 92 intersection improvements and the Hwy. 92/Kentucky Ave. intersection improvement.
The existing transportation tax revenue has been combined with other revenue sources to pay for the annual street mill and overlay project, including this year’s Maple Street reconstruction.
To read the entire ballot question, see the legal notices section in this issue of The Landmark.