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A reason to like sales taxes

By The Mercury

Even if it was largely a matter of time before monthly sales tax receipts in Manhattan crossed the $1 million threshold, word Friday from City Finance Director Bernie Hayen that it happened in September merited the small celebration it received.

“Most excellent news,” summed up City Commissioner Jim Sherow. Fittingly, he added, “This really shows how the developments of the past 15 years have created the regional economic center that was intended.”

There was little to mute the report. Not surprisingly, sales taxes generated from Kansas State University athletics were “the biggest driver” in the record total. The Wildcats had three home football games September, in the process attracting throngs of visitors to the city’s hotels, restaurants and shops.

Happily, however, Mr. Hayen noted that sales taxes rose in just about every retail sector, including the downtown redevelopment district. Also bringing smiles to city officials was the fact that the $1.035 million in sales taxes generated exceeded projections by more than $130,000. The total was enough that even after subtracting sales tax revenue from the downtown redevelopment to make the debt payment, the $937,000 left was still a one-month record.

What’s more, not only was September a record month, but the city is on track for a record year. The existing record, set last year, is $9.976 million. Already this year the city has received $9.742 million.

We don’t know what the final totals will be, but we’re confident that this regional economic center, which continues to grow, will continue to attract visitors and help support the kind of quality of life that attracts permanent residents.

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