WICHITA - Should voters consider raising the sales tax for needed projects? The city council continued to explore that question this week. An economic development fund is one of the projects being considered.
Gary Schmidt, Chairman of the Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition, proposed a jobs fund designed to diversity business and the workforce: "By spreading the workforce, we can sustain ecomonic downturns without major fluctuation in job numbers."
The proposal: $16 million a year for five years, designed to grow 20,000 jobs over that time, about a 7% increase. The idea is that the money is supposed to go for investments that stay in the community.
To make sure that happens, a citizen oversight committee and a jobs commission audit committee will watch over the spending.
Council-members seemed receptive, noting that Wichita currently spends less than Emporia or Topeka on economic development.