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[July 12, 2014]
Governing bodies to take up sales tax [Topeka Capital Journal (KS)]
(Topeka Capital Journal (KS) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) Local governing bodies plan this coming week to consider matters that include Shawnee County's 2015 budget and the proposed extension of a countywide, half-cent sales tax.
The Shawnee County Commission will meet at 9 a.m. Monday in its chambers in Room B-11 of the county courthouse at 200 S.E. 7th, while the Topeka City Council will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday in its chambers at 214 S.E. 8th.
The county commission will consider authorizing the Shawnee County Health Agency to fill a vacant registered nurse's position in the SCHA's Community Health Center's primary care program, as well as any SCHA jobs that might come open as a result of filling the position. The job's estimated annual cost for salary and benefits is $50,801.08.
Commissioners on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday will continue hearing from various county department heads as part of their process of crafting the county's 2015 budget.
The commission will hear at 10 a.m. Monday from the appraiser's office, 11 a.m. from the human resources department, 1:30 p.m. from the information technology department and 2:30 p.m. from the manager of the county-owned Kansas Expocentre.
Commissioners on Wednesday will hear at 9 a.m. from the weed department, 10 a.m. from parks and recreation, 11 a.m. from public works, 1 p.m. from the Community Resources Council, 1:30 p.m. from Safe Streets, 2 p.m. from Keep America Beautiful and 2:30 p.m. from Shawnee County Drug Court.
Commissioners then will hear Thursday at 10:30 a.m. from the Successful Connections program, 11 a.m. from the district attorney's office, 1:30 p.m. from the sheriff's office and 2:30 p.m. from the coroner's office.
The city's governing body, consisting of the nine council members and Mayor Larry Wolgast, plans at its meeting Tuesday to consider a proposed ballot question and interlocal agreement with Shawnee County.
The measures would schedule a Nov. 4 vote on whether to extend a countywide, half-cent sales tax for 15 years after it expires Dec. 31, 2016.
The county commission on June 16 approved the proposals, which identify an estimated $240.5 million in costs the tax extension would cover regarding purposes that include specific infrastructure improvements and financing economic development efforts. If the council amends or approves the measures, they would go back before the commission for a final vote.
City manager Jim Colson this past week provided the governing body a proposed revised version of the county-approved measure. Colson's version would reduce the total 15-year budget for revenue from the tax to $240 million. It would also reduce the amounts earmarked for the Kansas Expocentre and county bridges while directing more spending toward city streets and bikeways.
Tuesday's meeting will be the last scheduled city council meeting before the Aug. 1 deadline by which Shawnee County election commissioner Andrew Howell says his office will stop accepting ballot question submissions for the Nov. 4 ballot.
Any project list would also require subsequent adoption by the county commission before Aug. 1 to go on the Nov. 4 general election ballot.
In addition, the city's governing body plans Tuesday to consider scheduling a public hearing at its Aug. 12 meeting regarding city manager Jim Colson's proposed 2015 city budget. Kansas law requires the hearing.
The city council, meeting as its budget committee of the whole, voted 7-1 June 24 to approve a committee report expressing support for a slightly-revised version of Colson's proposed budget, which would keep the city's property tax mill levy next year at its current level of 39.736. That amounts to $456.96 annually in city property taxes for the owner of a $100,000 home.
The city's governing body is expected to consider finalizing the 2015 budget on Aug. 12 or Aug. 19.
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