Overland Park & Leawood

June 18, 2013

Overland Park to seek renewal of sales tax for streets

The tax, which has been in place for 15 years, is set to expire on March 31, 2014.

A special election will be held in Overland Park this fall, asking residents to renew the one-eighth cent sales tax for 10 more years.

At its meeting Monday evening, the city council unanimously approved holding the mail-in ballot election Oct. 8.

The current street improvement sales tax, which has been in place for 15 years, is set to expire on March 31, 2014. It helps fund residential and thoroughfare street improvements.

The street improvement sales tax originally was passed by Overland Park residents in 1998, and renewed in both 2003 and 2008.

Since its implementation, about $70 million has been spent on maintaining the streets of Overland Park, Public Works director Doug Brown said in a presentation to the council.

From 1998 to 2010, 52 miles of ditched residential streets were reconstructed with new pavement, storm drainage, sidewalks and street lights.

Since 1999, Overland Park has improved 26 miles of thoroughfare, from 87th to 159th Streets.

Funding from the sales tax also has allowed the city to replace traffic signals, improve street lighting and replace deteriorating curbs and sidewalks.

City communications director Sean Reilly told the council that information about the one-eighth cent sales tax will be featured prominently on the city’s website. It will feature an interactive map, listing details and photos of most of the city’s street improvement projects. It will also have a question and answer section.

“We want to educate the public as much as we can,” he said.

If passed, the street improvement sales tax would go into effect on April 1.

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