2021 Streets Sales Tax Renewal
In September, Mission voters will have an opportunity to consider renewal of a sales tax dedicated to the maintenance, repair and replacement of streets. The City Council has authorized a mail ballot election which will occur from early September through Tuesday, September 21, 2021.
**Join in a town hall meeting about the election and our street maintenance plan Wednesday, September 21 at 6 p.m. online or in person at the Powell Community Center. The link to participate virtually is available here.**
In the 2021 citizen satisfaction survey, 89% of residents expressed support for increased City investment in the maintenance of neighborhood streets, and 79% indicated support for increased investment in Mission’s major thoroughfares.
Currently, Mission has a ¼ percent citywide retailers’ sales tax dedicated to transportation improvements. Voters will be asked to consider renewing the sales tax at 3/8 percent to allow the City to continue investments in the Street Maintenance Program with no interruptions.
To learn more about what is proposed and how the funds will be used if the sales tax is renewed, please see the Frequently Asked Questions, or continue reading below.
Ballot Question Details
Q: Is this a new tax?
A: The ¼ of a cent sales tax (0.25%) approved by voters in 2012 for streets expires in March 2022. If renewed by voters in September, this dedicated citywide retailers’ sales tax for streets would replace the existing sales tax and increase the rate to ⅜ of a cent (0.375%).
Q: Why do we need to increase the sales tax rate?
A: The ¼ percent sales tax that was approved in 2011 replaced an existing ¼ percent sales tax that was authorized to pay for expansion of the Powell Community Center. Voters were asked to renew the sales tax at the existing rate and dedicate all revenues to street maintenance. Over the last ten years, the costs to appropriately rebuild and maintain Mission’s streets continue to be refined, and renewing the tax at the increased rate helps to address more street projects in the residential neighborhoods.
Q: What is the ballot language?
A: Shall the City of Mission, Kansas, be authorized to renew the citywide retailers’ sales tax currently imposed at one-fourth percent (0.250%) and impose such sales tax at an increased rate of three-eighths percent (0.375%), the collection of which shall commence on April 1, 2022 or as soon thereafter as permitted by law, and shall terminate ten years after its commencement, the proceeds of which shall be used to finance the costs of transportation improvements, including the construction and reconstruction of streets, bridges, sidewalks, curbs, gutters, trails, transit facilities, bicycle lanes, street lighting, traffic signalization, signage and landscape along rights-of-way and related improvements (the “Project”); all pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 12-187 et seq. and K.S.A. 25-431 et seq., as amended?
Q: What does a “yes” vote mean?
A: If approved, the City will be able to continue to perform annual street maintenance using the full amount of approximately $950,000 generated each year by this dedicated street sales tax.
Q: What happens if the ballot measure is not approved?
A: City services are generally funded by either property taxes, sales taxes or user fees. If voters elect not to approve this sales tax, the City will have to consider alternative ways to fund the critical street maintenance projects this tax pays for. The projects funded by the sales tax are integral to the City’s basic infrastructure and must be done, regardless of funding source.
The sales tax is expected to generate approximately 41% of the total revenues currently dedicated to street maintenance and create a specific way to pay for projects that maintain our community. The current street sales tax will expire in March 2022 no matter the result of the election this September.
Q: How long would this sales tax be in effect?
A: This special purpose sales tax is an important part of the City’s long term capital improvement program and plans. Sales taxes of this type (dedicated to a specific purpose) may be authorized for 10-year periods of time in accordance with State statutes. If approved, the street sales tax would expire in March 2032.
Q: Why are we voting on this now?
A: The revenue stream from this street sales tax makes up a significant portion of the City’s street maintenance budget. The dedicated street sales tax expires in March 2022. By considering the renewal now, there will be no lapse or break in the sales tax collections and street maintenance work can continue with no interruptions.
Q: Where can I get more information?
A: A town hall meeting has been scheduled for August 17 at 7 p.m. at the Powell Community Center, 6200 Martway St. You may also call or email the City at 913.676.8368 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the street sales tax renewal.
Use of Revenues
Q: How many miles of streets does the City have to take care of?
A: The City of Mission maintains 89.3 lane miles of paved roadway surface that must be maintained. Street maintenance can range from simple pothole patching and crack-sealing to intermediate maintenance treatments such as ultra-thin asphalt surface (UBAS) or mill and overlay to full depth reconstruction where the entire street is removed and replaced. Street maintenance also includes curb and gutter and sidewalk replacement where needed.
Q: What has this tax paid for in the past?
A: Over the last 10 years, the dedicated street sales tax has helped to seal and preserve nearly all the local (residential) streets in Mission that had adequate base for such treatments. This intermediate sealing helps to prolong the street’s useful life. In addition, the sales tax revenues helped to complete important arterial projects such as Nall Avenue, Martway Street, Johnson Drive, Foxridge Drive, Broadmoor Street and most recently, the resurfacing of Lamar Avenue from Shawnee Mission Parkway to Foxridge Drive including the installation of the dedicated bike lane facilities. The focus for the next 10 years will be rehabilitating/reconstructing streets in our residential neighborhoods.
Q: How much revenue will this sales tax generate?
A: The ⅜-cent street sales tax will generate approximately $950,000 annually to be dedicated to street, curb, gutter, and sidewalk maintenance programs.
Q: What other sources of money does the City use to pay for street maintenance?
A: The City dedicates approximately 41% of our annual property tax collection ($1.1 million in 2021) to street maintenance each year. Additionally, the City receives approximately $250,000 each year from the State of Kansas from a portion of the statewide gas tax. When combined with the dedicated street sales tax, these funds are also used to leverage federal, state and county grant funds, stretching Mission’s local dollars even further to accomplish important street repairs.
Q: What is the City’s long-term budget and plan for street maintenance and repairs?
A: Maintenance of streets and other important public assets (like stormwater or public buildings) is an ongoing responsibility. Streets in Mission, like most other cities, were not originally built with consistent design standards. Insufficient asphalt depths prevent maintenance treatments like mill and overlay and results in more rapid deterioration of pavement due to traffic loads. Full depth reconstruction is much more expensive, but when done to present day standards will allow for a longer lifespan of the street. It is an investment that will “Pave the Way” for better outcomes in the future.
Elected leaders in every city must work with their residents and businesses to develop funding and priorities that are reasonable to protect and preserve the City’s assets while also being sensitive to taxpayer’s needs. Both an annual budget and a 5-Year Capital Improvement Program are approved each year during the budget process.
Q: Are there restrictions on how these revenues can be used?
A: If approved, the portion of the total sales tax allocated for streets is set aside and accounted for separate from other City revenues. They may only be used to pay for improvements outlined in the ballot language, including streets and other components of the City’s transportation network. The funds may only be used for capital expenses including debt service for larger projects and may not be used to pay for annual operating expenses such as personnel.
Q: How do I know when my street is scheduled for work?
A: The City has completed core sampling and condition ratings for every street segment in Mission and has developed a Street Asset Management Plan based on those data. The streets currently planned to be addressed in the next 10 years (to coincide with the sales tax revenue timeline) are detailed in the plan shown here. The plan is reviewed annually, and streets may be moved forward or backward depending on a continued assessment of condition.
It is important to remember that this investment in street infrastructure is continuous, and the City’s overall maintenance strategy in the residential neighborhoods is to tackle the “worst first.”
Sales Tax Details
Q: What is Mission’s current total tax rate?
A: The City of Mission’s current sales tax rate is 9.6%, allocated as follows:
State of Kansas 6.500%
Johnson County 1.475%
City of Mission
Parks & Rec 0.375%
Q: How much more will this sales tax cost the average Mission shopper?
A: The current sales tax rate dedicated to streets is ¼ percent (0.025%). That means that you pay $0.03 on a $10 purchase and $0.25 on a $100 purchase. If the proposed ballot question is approved, you would pay $0.04 on that same $10 purchase and $0.38 on the $100 purchase.
Q: Why a sales tax and not something else?
A: Dedicated retailers’ sales taxes are a common way to pay for infrastructure improvements in communities because the costs are shared by both residents and visitors alike. Since people coming into the community to shop, eat or do business impact the quality of our street network, funding street maintenance with sales tax helps relieve Mission residents and businesses from paying 100% of the costs. For every sales tax dollar collected in Mission, about $0.38 comes from people outside of our community.
Q: How do I vote?
A: Mail-in ballots will be mailed to all registered voters in Mission. Ballots should begin arriving in homes on September 6. You may complete your ballot and mail it at any USPS location (postage is paid). You may also drop your mail ballot in the drop box located outside of the NE Johnson County Offices at 6000 Lamar, in Mission or at the Johnson County Election Office at 2101 East Kansas City Road, Olathe, KS 66061.
Q: When are the ballots due?
A: The special mail ballots are due by 12:00 p.m. (noon) on Tuesday, September 21, 2021.
Q: When is the deadline to register to vote?
A: If you are already registered, you do not need to register again. The last day to register to vote in the special mail ballot election is Tuesday, August 31, 2021.
If you register to vote between August 23, 2021 and August 31, 2021, you will not automatically be sent a mail ballot. Instead, you will need to fill out a separate application for a mail ballot to be sent to you. This information and link to the form can be found here: https://jocoelection.org/content/city-mission-mail-ballot-election-september-21-2021
Q: How do I register to vote?
A: You can visit jocoelection.org/registration to check your current status or to find more information on the ways to register. Registration can be completed by mail, fax, online or by visiting Mission City Hall. For questions on voter registration, you may contact the Johnson County Election Office at 913.715.6800.
Q: I’m a registered voter but didn’t receive a ballot. What do I do now?
A: If a registered Mission voter does not receive a ballot and/or if their ballot is lost or becomes damaged, the voter can request that a replacement ballot be sent to them by completing a replacement ballot form provided by the Johnson County Election Office. Election staff will verify that the voter is current on their registration information, then will mail a standard replacement ballot. Replacement ballots are just like the original mail ballots, and are included with election day tabulation totals if they are received by noon on election day.
The existing ¼ percent sales tax took effect April 1, 2012 and will sunset on March 31, 2022. If the renewal of this sales tax at the increased rate of 3/8 percent is approved this September, it will build on the work already completed by supporting a comprehensive street asset management plan.
THE STREET ASSET MANAGEMENT PLAN
Mission Public Works has recently developed a comprehensive street asset management plan. The plan includes evaluation of condition ratings and core sample data of every street in Mission to determine the appropriate treatment for each road segment. In addition, the plan identifies the funding required to improve the overall quality of the City’s street network and helps inform the Council’s decisions in ensuring public tax dollars are used efficiently and effectively.
Improving the quality of Mission’s road network must be accomplished through regular and predictable maintenance activities. While the Street Asset Management Plan is often discussed in terms of 10-year cycles, the investment in our streets is constant and ongoing.
To learn more about the Street Asset Management Plan, see below for a presentation by Celia Duran, Public Works Director from the August 5, 2020 Community Development Committee meeting.
STREET MAINTENANCE PLAN FUNDING
Currently, the funding dedicated to the rehabilitation and maintenance of Mission’s streets comes from three primary sources:
- Property Tax (56%) ~ $1.1 million annually
- Sales Tax (31%) ~ $600,000 annually*
- Special Highway Funds (Gas tax) (13%) – $250,000 annually
* Because of the need to completely reconstruct most of the City’s residential streets from their very foundation, the Council is asking voters to consider increasing the dedicated street sales tax from ¼ percent to ⅜ percent which will generate approximately $350,000 more each year for street maintenance.
Over the last 10 years, the dedicated street sales tax has helped to seal and preserve nearly all local (residential) streets in Mission that had adequate base for such treatments. This intermediate sealing helps to prolong the street’s useful life. In addition, the sales tax revenues helped to complete important arterial projects such as Nall Avenue, Martway Street, Johnson Drive, Foxridge Drive, Broadmoor Street and most recently, the resurfacing of Lamar from Shawnee Mission Parkway to Foxridge Drive, including the installation of the dedicated bike lane facilities. View a map of the completed work here.
The focus for the next 10 years will be rehabilitating and reconstructing streets in Mission’s residential neighborhoods. Click here to view a map of the proposed projects. To address the insufficient asphalt depths which have prevented maintenance treatments like mill and overlay, the proposed program focuses on full depth reconstruction. While more expensive than overlay, full depth reconstruction will result in longer lifespans for Mission’s streets. It is an investment that will pave the way for better outcomes and more flexibility with how the City spends resources in the future.
- Aug. 17: Town Hall Meeting, 7 PM
- Aug. 26: Virtual Town Hall, Noon
- Aug. 31: Voter Registration Deadline
- Sept. 6: Ballots Mailed
- Sept. 15: Town Hall Meeting, 6 PM
- Sept. 21: Ballots Due to Election Office
Street Program Questions
Celia Duran, Public Works Director
Emily Randel, Asst. to the City Administrator