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Finney County voters approve sales tax issue

Published on -3/5/2014, 10:48 AM

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GARDEN CITY, Kan. (AP) -- Finney County voters have approved extending a quarter-cent sales tax, with most of the revenue intended for a new county building in Garden City.

Unofficial results showed the issue passed Tuesday by 56.5 percent to 43.5 percent, with less than 7 percent of eligible voters casting ballots, The Garden City Telegram reported (http://bit.ly/1cBt5Ge ).

The quarter-cent sales tax has generated about $1.8 million a year since it was approved in 1997. It was set to expire in July.

The county plans to use the sales tax revenue to construct a Correction Services Center, at a cost not to exceed $6.6 million. The 25,000-square-foot building will house court services, youth services and community corrections. It will be connected to the adjacent juvenile detention center.

"I'm not surprised. I am disappointed there wasn't more voter turnout," County Commissioner Duane Drees said. "We're very pleased. I think staff did a fantastic job of explaining to the community the need for this facility."

Garden City plans to use more than $900,000 from the tax revenue largely for property tax stabilization. Holcomb will get an estimated $75,000 to $90,000 per year, and also may use the funds for property tax stabilization.

The sale tax extension will end when the new building is paid off, which is expected to be in nine to 10 years.

County administrator Randy Partington said the next step will be for the county commission to determine the process for preparing detailed plans for the building. He estimates it could be sometime in the summer before planning begins in earnest.

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Information from: The Garden City (Kan.) Telegram, http://www.gctelegram.com

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