Voters in the city of Shawnee recently passed a temporary, 10-year half-penny sales tax that will fund about $30 million in improvements.
The revenue will specifically be allocated as such: Public safety — 0.125 percent; Streets and roads — 0.125 percent; and parks and public facilities — 0.25 percent. Over 10 years, it is estimated approximately $30 million will be generated. City Commissioners adopted a list of capital improvements, which includes major upgrades to parks, the remodel of two fire stations, a new police department headquarters building, Expo enhancements, major street improvements, more sidewalks and trails, as well as renovations to the Senior Center, library, Community Center and Santa Fe Depot.
We asked readers on Facebook: What do you think of the new tax and how will it impact you?
Sandy Stringer Doyle — Any increase of taxes bothers me a lot as a senior now, because when you are living on your fixed income you weigh all of your purchases as a need a want or a frivolous purchase, and as the economy improves , then the gas prices start up, the price of groceries and other goods go up as well, and the working class can adjust as they are still getting their raises but seniors don’t get the luxury of a raise unless seniors try to go back to work. Nice things are nice but not at the expense of the seniors.
Pattee Jackson — The problem with "temporary" sales tax is that it never is!
Charles Campbell — That'd be good but they can't keep up with the street lights along Kickapoo, MacArthur, Farrell, Harrison, Kickapoo Spur or Highland. They're usually about 1/2 to 2/3 out. Even some of the walking trails by St. Gregory's, OBU & the airport the lights are out.
Stephanie Gleason Roll — Looking forward to new sidewalks and trails. Safer walking will be nice and maybe encourage more people to do it.
Marc Stearman — They need to allocate 100% of these funds into repairing or replacing the terrible roads in Shawnee. What good are fancy parks or a nice downtown area if all roads leading to these locations are full of potholes, uneven surfaces and shoddy repair jobs?
Joyce Willis — There is no question but what maintaining what we now have and making improvements in our city are always useful. There is not even a problem with individuals giving to support the improvement of their area. The only problem with monies going toward all of these items is proving that the money actually gets to the areas that it is earmarked to go. How do we propose to see that 'accountability' is attained? What outside agencies are set in place to see that a truthful audit is taken? There is so much misuse of funds these days that people are afraid to support...anything.
Christian Turner — I voted no on the increase of sales tax because couldn't care less for Shawnee...I'd leave if I could.