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City explains the use of the 1-cent sales tax PDF Print E-mail
Monday, 04 December 2017 10:03


• Leader & Times

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is part one of the story recapping the 1-cent sales tax presentation given during the most recent meeting of the Liberal City Commission Tuesday evening. This part will focus on beautification and part two will focus on the crime prevention portion of the sales tax. 

Clarification on parts of the city’s 1-cent sales tax continued during the most recent meeting of the Liberal City Commission Tuesday evening, with the first part of Tuesday’s presentation concerning beautification throughout the city. 

“As a reminder, we started doing presentations on the sales tax and answer hopefully some of the confusion,” City Manager Mark Hall said. “As I said last time, with the sales tax, there are things we can do and there are things we can’t do and some things we can’t afford. I want to point out and remind everyone roughly one-third of the sales tax collection is believed to come from outside the city of Liberal. That’s important because Liberal needs to attract people so as to forward the sales tax and raise the collections by attracting people from outside the city limits.”

Hall then briefly recapped a couple goals from back in 1994 (the sales tax’s beginnings) as well as the tax’s renewals. Beautification takes up 5 percent of the sales tax collections and since the tax’s beginnings, beautification in the community has come a long way, including establishing plans to apply for grant funds from KDOT for beautification of entrances to the city, working with the landfill staff to have free landfill days every three months for three different months, and working with all beautification studies in assessing future priorities, among many other projects. 

“These were all suggestions back in 1994 by the Focus on the Future groups where we could save the committee,” Hall said. “But like I said earlier, there were things we could do and things we couldn’t do, like with the outer fringes of Liberal, that is an item outside the city limits and is the responsibility of the county. But the majority of the suggestions from 1994 have been done.”

Suggestions to the Focus on the Future Committee from 2000 were also talked about, including providing a multi-purpose recreation facility (which failed by public vote back in 2011 and remains a topic of discussion today), having a cleanup day in Liberal twice a year with the emphasis being to help the elderly and disabled (which Hall said is still ongoing), expanding and enlarging McCray Park, installing irrigation at the Liberal City Cemetery and improving the grounds and providing headstones in the Liberal City Cemetery for veterans, among other projects. 

“If you’ll remember, Focus on the Future had several meetings and in those meetings they took what was the most indicated item, which was the recreation center, which was put to the public and failed,” Hall said. “But if you go through and look at the other items of beautification suggested in 2000, we’ve really done all of those. If we go to 2010, most of that list has also been completed, including Oz character art and putting in entrance signs on West Highway 54.”

Hall then concluded the beautification discussion with the department’s achievements from 2016. 

“We have a new city beautification program, we have a lot of items listed to do like the tree cost share program, the tree rebate program, and of course we’re always looking for things to add on to that,” Hall said. “We’ve met the needs over the years of the public and we will always strive to do better. If you look right now with downtown beautification services and downtown streetscape, we take care of 95 flower beds and landscapes, Light Park, 20 city facilities and nine park beautification sites. So as far as the beautification over the past several years, these services began and were added to, and that’s what makes up beautification.”




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The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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