Let’s Talk Business: October 21, 2021

“The 1% county sales tax has allowed the city of Emporia the opportunity to make significant infrastructure investments that are critical to a good quality of life,” City of Emporia Mayor Rob Gilligan stated.

An extension of the 1% county sales tax will be on the ballot for the upcoming November 2 election. This is an important issue that affects all local residents. Informed decisions can be made based on accurate information about what it is, what it does, and where it came from.

Areas that have been funded over the past ten years from the county sales tax include streets and sidewalks, to the tune of $14.5 million; storm water, in the amount of $1.3 million; building improvements, at over $3.4 million; park and zoo improvements of almost $805,000; over $336,000 in airport improvements; and $361,000 for water system.

At the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce August Board of Directors meeting, the Board voted to support the extension of the 1% county sales tax. This tax was originally passed in 2009 and was renewed in 2012, extending it through 2021. The current proposal, if passed, will extend the revenue source for an additional 15 years.

Proceeds from this tax will continue to be used for capital needs, split among Lyon County and the incorporated cities within the county. The dollars generated by this tax source have provided our cities and our county with resources to invest in a wide array of projects, as well as maintain–or even lower–the mill levy.

It is worth noting that a substantial amount of this tax is paid by visitors to the Emporia area.  This is not an increase in our sales tax nor is it a new tax, simply an extension of what we are already paying—and have been paying for a dozen years.

“Without continued efforts to maintain and improve the infrastructure of our community, we would be falling further behind in our ability to compete and attract new residents, developments and jobs. The continuation of this sales tax will be critical to maintain our efforts,” Gilligan concluded.

In addition to this important ballot question, in less than a month you will be voting on Emporia city commission and area board of education positions. The Emporia Chamber website and social media pages showcase videos from candidates for Emporia City Commission, and the USD 251, 252, and 253 boards of education. We encourage you to watch these videos to learn more about each candidate and why they are running for office. Here at the Chamber, we hope you’ll support the extension of the 1% county sales tax and your candidates of choice.

Your vote matters. Please exercise your right and your civic duty and vote in the upcoming November 2 election. You can contact the local election office at 620-341-3245, visit the Lyon County Courthouse at 430 Commercial, or find more information on their web page at lyoncounty.org/index/government/elected-offices/elections/.

It’s a great day in Emporia!



“Let’s Talk Business” is a weekly column of the Emporia Area Chamber of Commerce and Visit Emporia. The mission of the Chamber is to be proactive in creating an environment for business and community success, guided by the vision that positive attitudes promote positive actions. Contact us at 620-342-1600 or chamber@emporiakschamber.org and visit our website at www.emporiakschamber.org.