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Local Organization Critical Of Proposed Sales Tax

Sean Sandefur


Members of a newly formed organization are criticizing the City of Wichita’s proposed one-cent sales tax, which could appear on ballots this November. Coalition For a Better Wichita spoke out on Wednesday afternoon at Handy Mailing, a local small business. 

At a bulk mailing service in west Wichita, a large machine sorts hundreds of envelopes into neat piles. It’s here that a coalition of business owners gathered to speak out against a proposed one-cent sales tax. Coalition For a Better Wichita’s Jennifer Baysinger says the added cost to the consumer will hurt Wichita’s economy.

“Competition is great for a local economy,” she says. “But it’s very easy for someone to sit at home and shop online, so we want to make it less expensive to do business in Wichita, not more expensive.”

Baysinger added that City Council members haven’t given citizens enough time to weigh in, especially for a new, sustainable water source, which would be supported by the sales tax.

“There have been three or four plans rolled out, those plans have changed several times. I was at the city council workshop yesterday and the plans changed yet again. So the citizens don’t know what's coming.”

The sales tax would translate into about $400 million over five years. Early drafts indicate that 63 percent would help fund a new water source and about 10 percent would support public transit. City council members have said that if the sales tax is not passed, the future funding of both programs is in jeopardy. 

Follow Sean Sandefur on Twitter,@SeanSandefur