No fooling

A sixth-penny tax will be added to local sales tax starting on Monday, April 1. Every item that falls under the sales tax levy will see the penny increase – from hotel rooms to new cars. All food for domestic home consumption is exempt from sales tax.

Johnson County shoppers have one more weekend to make big purchases before a sixth penny is added to local sales tax.

A sixth-penny tax approved by voters to pay for road repairs in Buffalo will take effect Monday, April 1.

The sixth-penny tax will be in place until $7.1 million is raised, at which time the tax will expire. County Treasurer Carla Bishop said she expects the tax to continue for about five years if sales tax collections remain consistent.

“The last sixth-penny tax (which funded the construction of the Johnson County Library) raised around $3.7 million and took us about 18 months,” Bishop said. “So it will be at least four or five years before this money is raised.”

The tax will be collected and processed through the state offices and returned to the county. From there, the money will be placed in a specific fund, where it will held until the city comes to collect it, Bishop said.

Every item that falls under the sales tax levy will see the penny increase, from hotel rooms to new cars. Bishop said that any registration for a vehicle purchased before April 1 will only have a 5 percent sales tax, even if the vehicle is registered after the deadline.

All food for domestic home consumption is exempt from sales tax.

Roughly 57 percent of Johnson County voters supported the sixth-penny tax during the general election in November. The roads to be repaired with sixth-penny revenue include West Fetterman Street from the intersection with Burritt Avenue to Fort Street, at an estimated cost of $3.1 million; Burritt Avenue from Angus Street to Fort Street, with an estimated cost of $761,000; and Flatiron Drive, estimated at $3.2 million. The dollars will also be used to replace aging infrastructure such as sewer and water, according to former Mayor Mike Johnson.

The penny increase will put Johnson County on par with neighboring Sheridan County, which also has a 6 percent sales tax, and above the state average of 5.3 percent, according to Bishop.

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