Voters will decide the sales tax issue |

Parsons voters will decide whether the current 0.5% public safety sales tax should be increased from 0.5% to 1%.

If voters approve it, the tax would generate $900,000 to $1,000,000 for the city a year, city manager Debbie Lamb said.

The sales tax rate is now 9.25% in Parsons. If approved, this new tax will set the rate at 9.75%. The tax will be used as the original one that was set for the previous nine years, said Lamb and Jim Zaleski, director of economic development for the city. The tax has generated about $7.5 million since it took effect in January 2014, officials said. Residents voted in September 2013, with 611 responding in pencil “yes” and 132 voting “no”. This tax had an expiry date of 10 years.

This sales tax funding would be used for the creation of a new public safety center as well as routine utility and capital improvements, such as fire engines, increases for first responders, l equipment for the public works department, vehicles like maybe a new grader and general maintenance of police cars and fire trucks as needed.

“It’s for those needs,” Zaleski said.

Prioritization of specific amenities/items will be decided by the Parsons City Commission. Since this tax would be paid by everyone who shops in Parsons, therefore, if approved, the city would not have to raise property taxes on residents. That doesn’t put the onus solely on the Parsonians, Zaleski said.

The current 0.5% sales tax at Parsons generates approximately $1,000,000 per year.

If approved by voters in this election, this new sales tax will end in 10 years and begin on January 1, 2024.

The city now collects 1.5% sales taxes and combines them with state and county sales taxes for a total city rate of 9.25%. If voters approve the measure next week, it will rise to 9.75%. Of the 1.5%, each portion is half a cent, Zaleski said, with one portion to reduce property taxes, one split between streets, economic development and parks, and then the third portion is for capital improvements, which the city is trying to increase. now with this voting question,

If voters decline the sales tax initiative, the city’s priority would be to place the current half-cent sales tax on the next renewal ballot, Zaleski said. He said officials would talk about future property taxes and how to make up the difference in capital improvement costs.

The general election is Tuesday. Polling stations are open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

October 19 was the first day of in-person early voting and it ends at noon Monday.

In addition to this city question, voters will decide Kansas’s next governor and lieutenant governor as well as several other offices.

Democratic Gov. Laura Kelly of Topeka and Lt. Gov. David Toland of Iola are seeking re-election to their positions, facing opponents from Republican Attorney General Derek Schmidt of Independence and Katie Sawyer of McPherson. Dennis Pyle of Hiawatha and Kathleen G. Garrison of Haysville are also on the ballot, running on the independent ticket. Libertarian candidates Seth Cordell of Lyons and Evan Laudick-Gains of Hutchinson are also running for governor and lieutenant governor.

US Senator Jerry Moran takes on Democratic challenger Mark. R. Holland of Kansas City and Libertarian David C. Graham of Overland Park in the race for United States Senators. The choice of U.S. Representative for the 2nd District is between incumbent Jake LaTurner of Topeka (a Republican) and Patrick Schmidt of Topeka (a Democrat).

The race for attorney general pits Democrat Chris Mann of Lawrence against Republican Kris Kobach of Lecompton.

People can preview their ballot and voting location at

Sallie R. Loera