Commission examines 1/4 cent tax language

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Riley County Commissioners reviewed the language of a new quarter-cent sales tax question during a work session on Thursday.

If passed, the quarter-cent sales tax would replace the current half-cent sales tax that is in place in Riley County.

“I drew it based on the premise that the simpler is the better it’s going to be,” Clancy Holeman, Riley County Counselor, said.

The revenue generated from the new tax would be allocated to road and bridge projects; however, the county would not start seeing returns at the beginning of 2013.

“Revenue from the existing tax will come in after January 1,” Holeman said. “There will be a gap before this one (1/4 cent tax) becomes effective and the commission starts receiving receipts. That will probably be in April.”

The new tax would expire five years after the first round of receipts are collected.

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The Kansas Department of Agriculture is looking to relocate its current offices by 2013 and Manhattan is one of the cities in the running.

Other cities that are in the contention include Great Bend, Garden City, and Dodge City. President of the Manhattan-Area Chamber of Commerce, Lyle Butler, informed Riley County Commissioners Thursday that Manhattan will be putting in multiple offers in an effort to get the agency to relocate to the Little Apple.

“They are all private, but I am aware of three different groups that are submitting a proposal to the secretary,” Butler said.

The department is separated into two divisions, administrative and research, both of of which are currently housed in Topeka. The administrative offices are leased through July 2013. If the decision to move was made, regardless of destination, those would be the first offices to be relocated. The research division would remain in the capital for the short-term because of its lease.

“That part of the Department of Agriculture would stay in Topeka for at least two more years,” Butler said.

All proposals must be submitted by 5 p.m. on Friday.

Butler added there is no timetable on when the Secretary of Agriculture will deliver a decision.

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