On Tuesday, November 7, 2017, Manhattan voters approved a 10-year, 0.25% sales tax to fund identified indoor and outdoor recreation and trail improvements in the community. View the Official Election Report PDF and media coverage of the vote.
The total cost of the projects is $27.5 million. The city intends to stagger construction of the projects in order to avoid financing costs and use all revenue collected for construction so more amenities can be included. It is estimated the 0.25% sales tax will generate $2.75 million annually for 10 years.
A previous 0.25% quality of life sales tax ended on March 31, 2018. The current sales tax began April 1, 2018, resulting in no change to the city’s 8.95% sales tax. For the effect on your pocketbook, 25 cents of every $100 spent goes toward these improvements — think of a $100 grocery bill.
A steering committee appointed by the Manhattan City Commission studied recreation challenges and opportunities for two years before recommending this ballot question. A community survey was conducted during a strategic facility study to gauge community needs and interests in future recreation opportunities. The results of the survey were used to formulate a strategic plan that included four priorities for parks and recreation improvements. A subsequent feasibility study explored priority projects in more detail. That lead to the development of the ballot question.