Media Release


For immediate release

Media contact: Melissa Kirkwood
Community Relations Officer
Phone Number 785-587-2754
Email Manhattan Parks and Recreation

Manhattan voters support Quality of Life Recreation and Trails Sales Tax

(Manhattan, Kan., November 8, 2017) — Voters approved a special city-wide ballot question Tuesday that will renew a 0.25% sales tax for recreation and trails improvements.

The 0.25% sales tax renewal was approved, 60.93 percent to 39.07 percent, with 5,930 casting ballots on the question., according to unofficial results from the Riley County Election office.

"I am pleased that residents of Manhattan voted to support this local initiative to continue to improve the quality of recreation and trails in our community," Mayor Linda Morse said. "These additional dollars will improve the much-needed space we need for recreation, increase playability for our outdoor recreation, and improve our trails system in the community."

The sales tax will remain at 8.95% just as it was before the election. Collections on this effort will begin effective April 1, 2018, and will sunset after 10 years. Expected projections of revenue will begin in June of 2018, and planning will begin on indoor facilities located at Eisenhower Middle School and Anthony Middle School. These facilities will be utilized by both the community at large as well as USD 383. Planning on the outdoor recreation improvements will occur after the completion of indoor facilities and collection of the sales tax is accumulated. Improvements and planning of trails projects will be spanned throughout the entirety of the ten-year window of the tax collection.

"The partnership we have with our school district is very strong and unique. We realize their need for space as they realize our need for expansion of programming and need for community space for recreation. It is a win-win for the community and will have an impact for decades to come for a better quality of life for our community. We are thankful to begin making needed improvements to our indoor recreation, outdoor recreation, and trails in Manhattan" said Eddie Eastes, Director of Manhattan Parks and Recreation.

The tax is expected to generate $2.75 million annually with a total collection of $27.5 million over the 10 year period.

The Manhattan City Commission approved the ballot question earlier in the year after hearing the facility feasibility study that was conducted by a Steering Committee of local stakeholders. The committee weighed multiple options with the community, before proposing the three options of increasing indoor recreation space, improving outdoor recreation space, and improving and creating trails within the community.