Caney, Independence citizens to vote next Tuesday

Voters in Caney and Independence will go to the polls next Tuesday, April 3 for a spring election. Caney city voters will choose city councilors and be asked whether to renew an existing sales tax for street improvements while Independence city voters will vote whether to approve a one-cent sales tax increase to be used for four specific areas.


Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 7 p.m.


Caney City Council


Caney city voters will decide on several city council positions in the April 3 election.


In ward 1, voters will name a new city councilor to fill the position now held by Erin Munday, who chose not to seek re-election. Seeking the ward 1 position are Michael Jones, 209 E. Taylor, and Nathan Byrd, 400 N. Bradley.


In ward 2, incumbent city councilor Joshua Eaton is the only candidate for that position. Barring a write-in candidacy, Eaton, who resides at 619 N. Wood, will be re-elected to a two-year term.


The race for the Ward 3 council position has two candidates, including incumbent councilor Dan Vernon, 402 S. Spring. Also seeking that position is Lesa Clubine, 504 W. Sixth.


In ward 4, three candidates are seeking the council position. They include incumbent councilor April Coots, 210 E. Fourth; Carol S. McClure, 100 S. Vine; and M. Zoe Wahl, 128 W. Fourth.


Winners in the April 3 election will take the oath of office at the Caney City Council meeting on Monday, April 16.



Caney city sales tax


City voters will decide whether to renew an existing three-quarters percent (0.75%) sales tax for curb, gutter and street improvements for a five-year period.


The City of Caney’s total sales tax rate now stands at 9.05 percent. That sales tax rate will remain intact pending approval of the sales tax renewal on April 3. Should the sales tax not be renewed, then the sales tax would drop to 8.3 percent. However, no funds would be dedicated for curb, street or gutter improvements in the community.


If approved, the three-quarters percent sales tax would expire on Dec. 31, 2017.


The exact wording on the April 3 election ballot for the sales tax question is as follows: “Shall the City of Caney, Kansas, be authorized to impose a three-quarters percent (0.75%) city-wide retailers’ sales tax to pay the costs of curb, gutter and street improvement projects in the City, with collection of such sales tax to commence upon expiration of a current three-quarters percent (0.75%) city-wide sales tax, on January 1, 2013, and to expire on December 31, 2017?”



Independence city sales tax


City officials are pushing for a one-cent sales tax increase in the April 3 election.


The city sales tax question, if approved, would push Independence’s total sales tax from 8.55 percent to 9.3 percent. How can a one-cent sales tax proposal push the sales taxes from 8.55 cents (for every $1) to 9.3 percent? That’s because an existing one-quarter cent sales tax devoted to the Quality of Life sales tax initiative is set to expire on Sept. 31, meaning that the resulting total sales tax would be 9.3 percent.


If approved, the one-cent sales tax would be divided for four uses:


• debt repayment and mill levy support (.25 percent),


• building and facility improvements, including the Ralph Mitchell Zoo and Riverside Park (.25 percent),


• street and sidewalk improvements (.25 percent), and


• improvements required for compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) (.25 percent).


If approved, the one-cent sales tax would expire in 10 years.


City officials contend that rejection of the sales tax proposal would force city commissioners to hike property taxes by as much a 10 mills to amortize debt for the first phase of the handicapped-accessibility improvements that are required to be made to city facilities.



Where to vote:


In Caney, all four wards will cast ballots at one location: the First Baptist Church at 900 S. Ridgeway.


In Independence, voters will cast ballots in the same locations as in previous elections.


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