Frequently asked questions

Overland Park wants everyone to be informed about its efforts to maintain thoroughfares, residential streets, traffic lights, street lights, curbs and sidewalks.

If you question was not answered, please feel free to submit your question.

What is the 1/8 cent sales tax election?

The city of Overland Park has called for a mail-in election on a proposal for a new 10-year 1/8 cent sales tax.

Funding from the 1/8 cent sales tax would be used to construct residential streets and thoroughfares, as well as replacement of curbs and sidewalks, traffic signals and street lights.

The current 1/8 cent sales tax, originally approved by voters in November 1998 and subsequently approved two times by voters, is set to expire March 31, 2014.

How long will the proposed 1/8 cent sales tax last?

The proposed 1/8 cent sales tax would be from April 1, 2014 through March 31, 2024.

Why is the city asking for 10 years?

Overland Park is seeking 10 years due to the continual need to reconstruct residential streets that have exceeded their useful life and improve two-lane thoroughfare streets in high-growth areas of the city. Development also helps pay a portion of new road construction costs.

Furthermore, it is important for the city to be able to plan long-term maintenance and construction to more effectively and efficiently implement the city’s capital budget.

Based on current population growth projections, Overland Park’s population is expected to increase from about 176,100 to over 200,000 by 2020 in both established and new areas of the city. With more residents and expected increase in businesses due to the population growth, engineers anticipate more traffic and a need to continue to develop and expand our transportation infrastructure.

Overland Park has about 640 miles of residential and collector streets. Nearly 127 miles of those streets are over 50 years old; 66 miles have exceeded their useful life and need to be reconstructed.

There are nearly 166 miles of thoroughfares in Overland Park. Since 1999 and through this year, 26 miles of thoroughfares will have been improved to either four or six lanes. Today, there are 55 miles of unimproved thoroughfares which will require construction as Overland Park continues to grow.

How much money would the 1/8 cent sales tax generate?

Approximately $65 million over 10 years.

How can I be sure that money raised will go solely to street and traffic management system improvements?

The ballot language limits sales tax collection to improvements for residential and thoroughfare streets including curb replacement, new sidewalks, traffic signals and street lights. The money is segregated in the city’s financial system. It cannot be used for other purposes.

Who will pay the 1/8 cent sales tax?

The sales tax is collected from consumers making purchases in Overland Park, including both residents and visitors. Visitors to Overland Park will help fund street and traffic management system improvements through retail purchases.

The city’s 2012 Trade Pull Factor, which provides a measure of retail market data, indicates that Overland Park pulls in more shoppers than it has residents.

Overland Park’s pull factor is 1.70, one of the highest in Kansas, and clearly indicates retail businesses are successful in attracting customers from beyond our city boundaries.

A pull factor of 1.00 is a perfect balance of trade. Any value exceeding 1.00 is considered “favorable,” while below is considered “unfavorable.”

What is the effect of the increased sales tax on a typical household per month?

Annual household income$30,000$50,000$100,00
1/8 cent sales tax (monthly, estimated)$1.73$2.43$3.64

Another way to think about it is that shoppers pay one cent for every $8 spent, or 12.5 cents for $100.

What street improvements were made with the previous 1/8 cent sales tax revenue?

Since the first 1/8 cent sales tax went into effect April 1, 1999, through the end of 2013, 58 miles of residential streets and 26 miles of thoroughfares will have been reconstructed.

From 1999 to 2010, 52 miles of ditch-lined residential streets were reconstructed with new pavement, curbs, storm drainage, sidewalks and street lights. From 2011 to 2015, an additional six miles of neighborhood streets are being reconstructed. These streets have in place curbs, storm drainage, street lights and sidewalk. Reconstruction is required because the useful life of the street has been exceeded.

Neighborhoods where funds from the 1/8 cent sales tax have been used to pay for residential street work include:

  • 91st Street, Antioch to U.S. 69.
  • 81st – 82nd Street, vicinity of Lamar and Walmer
  • 80th – 81st Street, vicinity of Lamar and Glenwood.

Thoroughfare improvements include:

  • Metcalf, College to 123rd Street159th Street,
  • Metcalf to AntiochQuivira, 99th Street to 105th Street; and
  • Quivira, College Boulevard to 119th Street.

Based on the city’s current five-year Capital Improvements Program, what planned thoroughfare improvements are being considered using the 1/8 cent sales tax revenue?

  • Switzer, 151st to 159th Street, 2014;
  • 159th Street, Metcalf to Nall, 2015;
  • Metcalf, 159th to 167th Street, 2016;
  • 143rd, Pflumm to Quivira, 2017; and
  • 159th Street, Nall to Mission, 2018.

When the 1/8 cent sales tax initially began, it was dedicated solely to improving residential and thoroughfare streets. Why does it include traffic management and infrastructure improvements?

Voters in 2008 approved inclusion of replacing traffic signals, street lights, sidewalks and curbs beginning in 2009. As Overland Park continues to age, the need to replace signals, street lights, sidewalks and curbs increases.

What other sources of funding exist that support street improvements in Overland Park?

The additional 1/8 cent sales tax revenue allows Overland Park to access additional county and federal funds to finance the balance of the total estimated costs of construction projects. For instance, $30 million of 1/8 cent sales tax revenue was used to secure an additional $138 million in federal, county, and other city money.

If the new 1/8 cent sales tax is approved, will I pay more sales tax than I pay now?

No. The sales tax rate would remain the same. The new 1/8 cent sales tax would simply replace the existing 1/8 cent sales tax.

What is Overland Park’s percentage of the total current sales tax?

Current sales tax rate 
Kansas6.15
Johnson County1.225
Overland Park general sales tax (funds police, fire, parks and more)1
Overland Park 1/8th cent sales tax.125
total8.50

Overland Park’s portion of the overall sales tax rate of 8.50 percent is 1.125 percent, which is one of the lowest in the metropolitan area, and provides more than 50 percent of the city’s general operating revenue. The .125 percent (1/8 cent sales tax) provides funding for residential and thoroughfare streets, as well as other traffic management improvements including traffic signals, street lights, sidewalks and curbs. Property tax revenue provides about 19 percent of the city's total general revenue, with fees from permits, community center memberships and others accounting for the rest.

Do any other cities in metropolitan Kansas City have sales tax rate over 8 percent?

Yes. Many cities including Mission, Lenexa and Leawood, Kan.; Lee's Summit, Independence and Kansas City, Mo., have sales tax rates over 8 percent.

Will the sales tax apply to gasoline I buy at the pump?

No.

What is the impact if revenue from the 1/8 cent sales tax is no longer available?

The programs that these funds support, residential and thoroughfare streets, would be significantly impacted. Projects in the five-year capital improvement plan would need to be reduced or money from the general fund, which supports day-to-day operations such as public safety, parks and more, would need to be redirected.

Traffic safety would be impacted because it would take longer for two-lane thoroughfares in the developing part of the city to be improved. Currently, the city annually improves about one mile of a two-lane thoroughfare.

Businesses say that one of the main reasons they relocate to Overland Park is because of Overland Park’s continual commitment to build an effective transportation network that provides ease of access for employees and customers.

Didn't Overland Park raise its mill rate for the 2012 budget to increase funding of street maintenance?

Yes.

In a fourth citywide survey, completed in 2011, Overland Park residents listed their three top future priorities:

  • Traffic flow, major streets,
  • Maintenance of city streets, and
  • Police, fire and ambulance.

Overland Park raised its mill rate to 12.814 mills in 2012 (lowered it to 12.769 in 2013) to incorporate additional dedicated funding for street maintenance. Funding in 2012 for street maintenance was $8 million is expected to exceed $16 million in 2016.

Overland Park's property tax rate generally comprises about 11 to 12 percent of a total tax bill. In fact, Overland Park's current property tax rate is the lowest of any city in Johnson County, and of any first class city in Kansas.

Money from the 1/8 cent sales tax is being used to reconstruct residential streets, build new four- and -six lane thoroughfares, as well as fund replacement of existing sidewalks, curbs, street lights and traffic signals not included in any reconstruction or new roadway project. No money from the 1/8 cent sales tax is being used for street maintenance.

How can I get more information?

Overland Park’s website has additional information, an interactive map with historical information about both residential and thoroughfare projects, sales tax comparison information, a sales tax calculator and more.

The city will also use its social media sites including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube to provide further information and answer questions.

Further, every residential address will receive an issue of Overview, the residents’ quarterly newsletter, with information about the proposed sales tax extension. You can also email your questions to salestax@opkansas.org or speak with staff members in the City Manager’s Office by calling 913-895-6000.

What is the exact ballot language?

Shall the City of Overland Park, Kansas, be authorized to levy a new one-eighth of one percent (0.125%) Special Purpose City Retailers’ Sales Tax within the City of Overland Park, Kansas, and to use the revenue from the tax to continue to fund a residential street improvement program and a thoroughfare street improvement program, such tax to take effect on April 1, 2014, the day following expiration of the existing one-eighth of one percent (0.125%) Special Purpose City Retailers’ Sales Tax; such tax to end March 31, 2024; and such tax to be in addition to the ongoing one percent (1.0%) City Retailers’ Sales Tax currently levied?

How can I vote on the extension of sales tax for streets?

To participate in the mail-in election, you must be a registered voter and a resident of the city of Overland Park.

To have a ballot mailed to your residence, you must be registered on or before Monday, Sept. 9.

Eligible voters may register on or before Tuesday, Sept. 17, and must obtain from the Johnson County Election office and complete an Application for Replacement Mail Ballot.

The mail-in ballot is due by noon Oct. 8, 2013 to the Johnson County Election Office.

If you have moved or changed your name since you last registered to vote, you must re-register. If you would like additional information about registering or voting, contact the Johnson County Election Office at 913-782-3441.