Baldwin City’s sales tax collections up, down in 2010
According to Kansas Department of Revenue figures, Baldwin City’s sales tax collections were up and down in 2010.
As a whole, Baldwin City ‘s numbers increased in 2010, but that was because of a quarter-cent percent sales tax increase that began in April.
“For the previous two years, when people said the economy was tanking, our sales tax numbers were staying pretty stable,” Baldwin City Administrator Jeff Dingman said. “The last four or five months of 2010 were behind previous years.”
According to the revenue depatment, Baldwin City collected $328,053.86 in sales tax in 2009. In 2010, the city collected $349,609.77 with the jump in the sales tax from 1 cent to 1.25 cents the last nine months of the year. City voters approved the sales tax hike in 2009.
Dingman said the additional quarter-cent sales tax brought in about $62,000 from April 1 to Dec. 31.
Although the quarter-cent “quality of life” sales tax helped Baldwin City collect more money this year, the other sales taxes decreased. The Kansas Legislature approved a one-cent statewide sales tax increase, which became effective July 1. It boosted the state’s collections from $700,136,518.79 to $705,413,616.72.
In the November 2009 election, Baldwin City voters also approved the renewal of a half-cent sales tax, which is dedicated for capital improvements and has in place since 1991. Another half-cent sales tax, which was already in place, was also continued.
The original half-cent brought in around $165,000, which was down from $183,000 in 2009, and less than $172,000 budgeted from the revenue source.
“That one was year-round,” Dingman said. “It’s a pre-existing sales tax. That goes straight into our general fund revenues. It’s falling behind. We expected the half-cent sales tax to bring in around $170,000. It was behind what we budgeted for revenue.”
The capital improvement half-cent collected about $124,000 from April through December. Those funds might be spent on roads, bridges, sidewalks or even purchasing vehicles.
“We expected the capital improvements sales tax to bring around $170,000 for the whole year, too,” Dingman said. “Hopefully it turns around and picks up from last year.”
A portion of the half-cent capital improvement tax will be used to rebuild Douglas County Road 1055 from U.S. Highway 56 to Douglas County N. 400 Road, which leads to the state fishing lake. The city will partner with the county on the project.
The project is already in the design phase. A portion of that road will be three lanes and sidewalks will be built on both sides of county road 1055. Dingman expects construction to start in 2012.
“The big one right now is the north Sixth Street project with the county,” Dingman said. “We won’t plan on doing much with the money, until we know what our obligations will be for that project.”
Meanwhile, the “quality of life” quarter-cent sales tax will be spent by the Baldwin City Council, but where is still up the air. The original plan called for the city to build hiking and biking trails, but the city was unable to obtain the grant for those trails.
“There are still several ideas where that money might be spent,” Dingman said. “Those include the library expansion and walking trail. The first priority was the walking trail, but we didn’t get that grant. So now we’re looking at other things on the list, like improved parking and restrooms at our parks. Combine that with the interest in the library expansion, and it’s going to suck up the fund pretty fast.”