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Government entities across the Northland will have questions posed to voters on the Nov. 2 ballot. The following is a brief rundown of those questions.

Clay County

Clay County voters will decide to continue or stop the existing one-eighth cent sales tax that funds about 25% of the sheriff’s office annual budget. The sales tax has been in place since 1998 and is put to voters for renewal every 12 years. In the last fiscal year, it generated about $5 million.

The Clay County Commission voted to remove the 12-year sunset on the tax in the upcoming ballot language, meaning if renewed this November, it will no longer need to be voted on every dozen years by the electorate. The county commission however, could repeal the tax at any time.

The question posed to voters is “Shall the county of Clay extend and impose a countywide sales tax at the rate of one-eighth of 1% for the purpose of providing law enforcement services for the county to include maintenance of current law enforcement facilities and all operational costs to provide for the incarceration of inmates, including additional law enforcement personnel?”

This tax, if continued, will not increase the county’s current sales tax levy. If approved, the county commission will annually appropriate the funds, with the funds audited annually.

Kearney

Voters in Kearney city limits will again be asked to approve a use tax. The question was last put to voters on the April ballot.

The question on the November ballot reads, “Shall the city of Kearney impose a local use tax at the same rate as the total local sales tax rate, provided that if the local sales tax rate is reduced or raised by voter approval, the local use tax rate shall also be reduced or raised by the same action?”

If approved, it will mean purchases from out-of-state vendors delivered to a Kearney address will be taxed as an item purchased in a Kearney store is. The measure would generate roughly $600,000 annually for the city.

In addition, if the ballot question is not approved, some of the city’s current revenue, to the tune of roughly $200,000, is at risk as the city currently receives sales tax revenue when a resident purchases a car from out-of-state. If a use tax is not adopted by November 2022, that revenue will be lost.

If passed, the use tax would only be applied to purchases from out-of-state vendors for delivery and use in Kearney. The tax would be equivalent to sales tax applied to local purchases.

“It’s one or the other, never both. A purchase would not be taxed twice,” states a city release.

If the tax is approved, $150,000 would allow for hiring two police officers and providing them squad vehicles; $100,000 would provide for the city’s first animal control officer and needed equipment; $200,000 would help create Hall Park, a park dedicated to seniors, as well as fund new pickleball courts; and $150,000 would be dedicated to a Nation Road sidewalk that would run from Cottonwood Creek Avenue north to Woodridge Road.

Holt Community Fire

Protection District

Residents who live in the Holt Community Fire Protection District of Clay and Clinton counties will be asked to vote on a tax levy to fund district operations.

The question reads, “Shall the Holt Community Fire Protection District of Clay and Clinton counties, Missouri be authorized to levy an additional operating tax levy of not more than $0.35 per $100 assessed valuation to provide funds for the operation of the district?”

According to district leadership, if passed, the added tax will cost a district patron with a $185,000 residence about $96.81 annually and about $23 annually for a person with a $20,000 vehicle.

Funds would pay for equipment and personnel.

Village of Oakwood Park

In addition to other questions on the ballot, the Village of Oakwood Park is seeking approval of a special $300 annual tax. The questions reads, “Shall a special tax be assessed annually against each resident household of the Village of Oakwood Park in the sum of $300.00 for a period of 10 years, which will be used only for sewer maintenance and street maintenance?”

Managing Editor Amanda Lubinski can be reached at amanda.lubinski@mycouriertribune.com or 903-6001.

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