Kingman, Kan. - Kingman County voters have rejected a proposed countywide sales tax to help fund construction of a new county law enforcement center.
The unofficial vote total was 802 to 749. There are 24 provisional ballots, but even after canvasing, election officials believe there are not enough votes for the measure to pass.
The county planned to use the sales tax revenue along with annual payments from the Flat Ridge 2 commercial wind farm to construct the law enforcement center.
The expected cost of the facility was $11.8 million. cost of $11.8 million. The plans called for offices, storage space and training rooms for the county sheriff and Kingman police, an emergency operations center, 911 dispatch and a modern 32-bed jail.
Voters were asked to approve a new one-quarter percent retailers’ sales tax for 20 years and to extend a current three-quarters percent sales tax, also for 20 years. The one-quarter percent tax would have started in July 2014 and the three-quarters percent tax would have started in 2021. A current three-quarters percent tax for road and bridge maintenance expires Dec. 31, 2020.
The current law enforcement center, which is located just south of the courthouse, was built in 1959. It is in a flood plain and does not meet Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility requirements. It includes the current jail, which has 13 beds. It is also home to the sheriff, Kingman police and the county’s 911 dispatch center.