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Sep 09

Weigh in on Derby’s Future

Posted on September 9, 2022 at 9:02 AM by Kristy Bansemer

Derby has had a half-cent sales tax in place since 2003. Through three different sales tax initiatives since 2003, Derby voters have shown they are willing to invest in their community to make it the place to be. As Derby has grown and become a regional retail destination, the revenue from sales tax has grown as well. Sales tax has shown to be a very viable and sustainable funding source for the community and is a fair way to share the expense of city improvements with those visitors who come to Derby.  

The first sales tax was used to build Rock River Rapids and ended early in 2009. The second sales tax was to build a new Derby Public Library. It began in 2010 and ended early in 2014. The most recent half-cent tax, the Derby Difference Sales Tax, began in 2014 and is set to expire December 31, 2024. The Derby Difference was used to build parks (Madison Avenue Central Park and Decarsky Park), helped add needed firefighters for fire and rescue operations, and assists in funding library operations. As you can see, the City of Derby has a history of being a responsible steward of those dedicated sales tax dollars and have gotten projects done as promised.

It is an important time now for Derby residents to help weigh in on what the future sales tax in Derby might look like. Derby has hired the Public Policy and Management Center at Wichita State University to craft a community survey. The survey is intended to gauge community priorities for investment and willingness to pay as the City Council looks at the next Derby Difference Sales Tax. The survey will go out later this year to a number of residents, and I encourage everyone who receives a survey to fill it out and provide input. A community focus group is also being planned in the near future to allow residents to provide feedback in person. Keep a look out for that announcement.  

Residents and community leaders have shown willingness to take action to make Derby a great place to live, work and play. The Derby Difference Sales Tax is an important piece of how we have been able to enhance the quality of life in Derby. I look forward to hearing from as many stakeholders as possible as we go forward on this endeavor.

Kiel Mangus
City Manager

Published in The Derby Informer on Sept. 7, 2022.