Roeland Park hikes sales tax to eventually boost business - KCTV5 News

Roeland Park hikes sales tax to eventually boost business

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It is going to cost people more to shop in Roeland Park soon, all in an effort to eventually boost business.

City leaders are scrambling to find a way to fill the massive gap in sales tax revenue they will have once Walmart leaves Roeland Park.

In a 5-2 vote Monday night, the city council moved to raise the sales tax they charge at several stores including the Walmart, a nearby CVS, Taco Bell and T-Mobile by a full percentage point.

The mayor told the council that move will help generate about $600,000 in revenue, money that will be used to help renovate the shopping center.

The hope is to spruce up the area enough to attract another retailer to fill the hole created once Walmart clears out.

Several residents turned out Monday night.  Some were against the added tax burden and some said it is the best solution to a difficult problem.

"I believe your minds are already made up as to what you want to do. You cannot keep putting this burden in the backs of the citizens of Roeland Park," Roeland Park resident Linda Maow said. 

However, for Sherry McNeil, she would much rather have help from other communities in raising funds for her city than have her properties taxes raised.

The higher sales tax goes into effect at the beginning of 2013 and will stay in place for one year.

Walmart hasn't actually said when they plan on moving out of Roeland Park.  The store is going to Mission's new Gateway project at Johnson and Roeland drives, but ground hasn't been broken.

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