November general election breakdown: Why some Kansas communities are pushing for a sales tax increase

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WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – The November general election is just one week away. Besides candidates, thousands of Kansas voters will vote on ballot questions.

From new fire stations to better parks and even mental health services, several community leaders said they need extra funding for some essential upgrades.

“The fire station is just too small. We have firefighters sleeping in spaces that used to be closets, so it is behind time, it is past time,” said Andover Fire Chief Chad Russell.

On the ballot in Andover is a sales tax increase of 1%. That increase will pay for major park improvements and a new fire station and upgrade to the current one. To find out more, click here.

“We have a long track record of being good stewards of that money and being able to use that money for really good community purposes,” said Russell.

Great Bend is hoping to add up to a .45% increase to its sales tax. To find out more, click here.

“It is the most equitable tax everyone pays the same amount, including people that aren’t from Great Bend,” said Great Bend City Administrator Kendal Francis.

People who live in Great Bend will vote on three different sales tax increases. One for a new police station and court facility, another to improve parks and recreation and other quality of life amenities and an increase to the pension for first responders.

“This is a great way for us to generate a significant amount of revenue to pay for things that are sorely needed in Great Bend,” said Francis.

Hoping to continue their half-cent sales tac is Sumner County that pays taxes for mental health resources, the health department, and EMS.

“We all want to be able to know that when we pick up the phone and call 911 that EMS is gonna come, we don’t want to have to say, ‘oh sorry’,” said Debra Norris, an election official for Sumner County.

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