City accepting nominations for Sales Tax Citizen Oversight Committee

Wichitans are voting on the City’s proposed sales tax on November 4. The initiative includes community oversight of the funds collected from the sales tax. Chamber members are encouraged to learn more about the Citizens Oversight Committee and to consider completing and submitting an application form found on the City’s website: http://www.wichita.gov/Government/Departments/CMO/Pages/BetterFuture.aspx

Nominees must be residents of the City of Wichita and a financial background is helpful.

Applications are now being accepted for the Sales Tax Citizen Oversight Committee

Applications are now being accepted for the Sales Tax Citizen Oversight Committee

The City’s website (wichita.gov) is also a good source of information about the background and plans associated with the sales tax.

A Wichita Eagle story about the committee indicates that the deadline to apply is the end of November. Read the story by following this link.

 

 

Why can’t Wichita wait on securing another water source?

The Chamber’s Board of Directors supports the 1 percent sales tax referendum. Wichitans will vote on this issue on November 4. Chamber board members are utilizing this blog to provide commentary and answer questions about the sales tax. Today’s question is answered by Chamber Board member Barry Schwan in a letter to the editor of the Wichita Eagle.

We can’t wait another 20 years to develop a plan for water. Water planning is a continual planning process. It takes several decades to bring another water resource on line. Work on the current Aquifer Storage and Recovery project has been ongoing for more than 20 years, and it is not yet fully developed. Finishing the project is one of the benefits of the 1-cent sales tax.

Barry Schwan is a member of the 2014 Board of Directors for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce and the President of House of Schwan.

Barry Schwan is a member of the 2014 Board of Directors for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce and the President of House of Schwan.

In fact, the last major water resource brought on line was Cheney Reservoir in the 1950s. The city of Wichita has continued to plan for additional resources since that time, but state and federal laws and regulations have prohibited two other viable options. That’s why the ASR is and must remain our focus. The 1-cent sales tax will help move that project to completion.

Please visit the City of Wichita website to learn more about the proposed sales tax and to read the plans for water, roads, transportation and jobs. Visit the Yes Wichita website to see who is supporting the sales tax and to learn about upcoming events.

 

 

 

Wichita Eagle publishes answers about city’s proposed sales tax

Chamber members who need more information about the city’s proposed sales tax are headline - Wichita Eagleencouraged to follow this link to today’s Wichita Eagle article. The article provides answers to more than 20 commonly-asked questions about the topic. The questions are grouped by these subheads:  Effect on consumers, Jobs fund, Water project, and Streets and transit.

You may also want to review these Wichita Eagle and Wichita Business Journal articles for more specific information:

Incentives at heart of debate over sales tax jobs fund – October 26, 2014
‘No’ vote outspends ‘yes’ in Wichita sales tax campaign – October 19, 2014
More groups announce support for proposed sales tax – October 16, 2014
Wichita sales tax vote bringing home costs of future water needs – October 12, 2014
What you would pay under the proposed new sales tax – October 8, 2014
Tax would target fixing worst of Wichita’s streets – September 28, 2014
Finkle:  ‘More oversight than I’ve ever seen’ – September 19, 2014
Proposed 1-cent sales tax would add, expand Wichita bus routes – August 3, 2014

Is Wichita open for business?

Wayne Chambers

Wayne Chambers

By Wayne Chambers
2014 Chamber Board Chairman
President, High Touch Technologies

Fifty community leaders recently participated in the Chamber’s city-to-city visit to Austin, Texas, and some very familiar themes emerged from our visit with Austin leadership.

They’re the same themes that we heard from Jim Clifton, the CEO of Gallup, when he spoke at the Chamber’s annual meeting last year. And they were repeated by respected demographer James Chung when he made his Fuel the Fire presentation to the community on Sept. 17.

Jumpstarting Wichita’s economy requires focusing on three important things:

• community alignment and partnerships
• an educated workforce
• activation – an understanding that no one else will do this for us

It’s obvious that Adam Smith’s “invisible hand of the market” won’t fix our local economy. We must take different actions if we expect different results. Mr. Chung put it even more succinctly: “Wichita must decide now whether to stagnate or innovate.”

Shaping a more positive future requires investments in a long-term water plan, street maintenance, transit, and a proactive jobs plan. Let’s not miss the opportunity to say YES to these investments and vote YES on Nov. 4 for the city sales tax. We’ll be sending the right message to the workforce and businesses that we’re trying to grow and attract. “Wichita is open for business.”

Are local nonprofits supporting the sales tax?

Michael Monteferrante is a the President and CEO of Envision, Inc. and a member of the 2014 Board of Directors for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

Michael Monteferrante is a the President and CEO of Envision, Inc. and a member of the 2014 Board of Directors for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber’s Board of Directors recently announced their support of the 1 percent sales tax referendum. Wichitans will vote on this issue on November 4. During the next few months Chamber members will utilize the blog to provide commentary and answer questions about the sales tax. Today’s question is answered by Chamber Board member Michael Monteferrante.

Yes. The Nonprofit Chamber of Services (NPCS) has announced support of the sales tax. NPCS works with 175 area nonprofits and not-for-profits in the community and is one of seven local organizations who believe the additional funding will move Wichita forward:

  • Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau
  • IBEW L.U. 271 Electrical Workers
  • Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, Local 441
  • The Nonprofit Chamber of Service
  • Wichita Downtown Development Corporation
  • Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce
  • Young Professionals of Wichita

“The proposed sales tax is crucial to growing our city. To vote ‘yes’ is to vote for growth and evolution. To vote ‘no’ is to vote for stagnation. We must choose to invest in our community,” said Michael Monteferrante, President and CEO of Envision, Inc., Yes Wichita co-chair and NPCS board member.

Monteferrante added, “A crucial component of the initiative is the transit expansion. Our transit system provides two million annual rides to jobs, shopping and medical appointments but could do so much more. Voting ‘Yes’ to this initiative will allow service improvements including the addition of extended transit hours. A robust public transportation system is essential to a healthy community.”

The Nonprofit Chamber of Service exists to support 175 area nonprofits and not-for-profits through training for staff and volunteers and representation of nonprofit interests to the community and government at all levels.

Please visit the City of Wichita website to learn more about the proposed sales tax and to read the plans for water, roads, transportation and jobs. 
Visit the Yes Wichita website to see who is supporting the sales tax and to learn about upcoming events.

Why did the Chamber take a position on the sales tax vote?

On August 18, the Chamber’s Board of Directors announced their support of the 1 percent sales tax referendum. Wichitans will have the opportunity to vote on this issue on November 4. During the next few months Chamber members will utilize the blog to a provide commentary and answer questions about this issue. Today’s question is answered by Chamber Board member Junetta Everett.

Junetta Everett

Junetta Everett is the Vice President of Professional Relations for Delta Dental of Kansas and a member of the 2014 Board of Directors for the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce

The Board of Directors for the largest member-based business organization in the region has a responsibility to take a clear position on issues that impact Wichita’s business environment. We represent organizations, attractions, and businesses who have entrusted us with a unique leadership role in this community. They elected us to thoroughly study these issues and then support initiatives that strengthen Wichita.

Our Board members had several opportunities to ask questions and provide input before we voted on whether we should support the sales tax. Our vote on August 18 showed overwhelming support for the sales tax.

The primary reason we voted to support the tax is that our vision and mission are all about growing our community. These plans do just that, from growing jobs to ensuring water for the next generation and during a drought. An organization can’t exist without a plan and with uncertainty – neither can a community.

As we neared our decision on this issue, our Board Chairman Wayne Chambers reminded us that, “Ultimately we must soon choose to either venture boldly with a confident step forward, or to remain standing still.” This Board has opted to Venture Boldly and we encourage our members to support this initiative because it aligns with our mission and vision.

Please visit the City of Wichita website to learn more about the proposed sales tax and to read the plans for water, roads, transportation and jobs. Visit the Yes Wichita website to see who is supporting the sales tax and to learn about upcoming events.

Are more organizations supporting the proposed sales tax?

The Chamber’s Board of Directors recently announced their support of the 1 percent sales tax referendum. Wichitans will vote on this issue on November 4. During the next few months Chamber members will utilize the blog to provide commentary and answer questions about the sales tax. Today’s question is answered by Richard Taylor, a member of the Chamber’s Leadership Council.

Yes. The leadership of the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, Local 441, is now supporting the 1 percent sales tax referendum on the Nov. 4 ballot. The Union joins the Young Professionals of Wichita, Wichita Downtown Development Corporation, Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau, and the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce in supporting the sales tax.

Richard Taylor is a member of the Chamber's Leadership Council and the Business Manager for the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, Local 441.

Richard Taylor is a member of the Chamber’s Leadership Council and the Business Manager for the Plumbers and Pipefitters Union, Local 441.

Richard Taylor is a member of the Chamber’s Leadership Council and serves as the Business Manager for the organization. Taylor says the union believes every aspect of the initiative is important to Wichita. “We back these efforts to bring jobs to this community and create employment opportunities for the building trades. We’ve reviewed the jobs plan and we are very supportive of the workforce training component. The Wichita economy benefits from a skilled and experienced workforce. We also believe that stable and predictable water rates, improved bus service, and road maintenance are solid investments in our community’s growth.”

Please visit the City of Wichita website for more specific information about the sales tax referendum.

Do the young professionals in Wichita support the sales tax initiative?

The Chamber’s Board of Directors recently announced their support of the 1 percent sales tax referendum. Wichitans will vote on this issue on November 4. During the next few months Chamber members will utilize the blog to provide commentary and answer questions about the sales tax. Today’s question is answered by Suzy Finn, the Executive Director of the Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW). 

Suzy Finn is the Executive Director of the Young Professionals of Wichita.

Suzy Finn is the Executive Director of the Young Professionals of Wichita.

Yes. The Young Professionals of Wichita Board of Trustees voted this week to support the proposed 1 percent sales tax referendum that City of Wichita residents will vote on during the November 4 general election.

The Board supports this referendum because it believes this sales tax will be a tool to help the organization accomplish its mission to attract, engage, and retain diverse young talent to effect positive change for a brighter future. In particular, the needs for more, diverse job options and a strong public transit system have previously been identified as keys to accomplishing the YPW mission.

“Our Board feels that maintaining the status quo in Wichita is not enough to encourage economic growth and attract the Millennial generation,” said YPW Executive Director Suzy Finn. “Wichita continues to lose young professionals while other vibrant cities in the region are gaining them. The first step in changing that trend is to ensure that we have plentiful and diverse jobs available for a highly educated workforce. A yes vote on this referendum represents a plan to kick-start growth in that area.”

Prior to voting, YPW hosted a Pro/Con Forum about the sales tax referendum that featured speakers from the supporting and opposing sides of the issue to inform the general membership and allow all Board members the opportunity to become educated about the issues prior to taking a vote.

“This is the first time our organization has taken an official position on an issue before the community for a vote,” said Finn. “It was reiterated during our city-to-city trip to Austin that you have to have a strong economic base to fund quality of life issues. We believe that if we support development of the basics needed for economic growth now, continued improvements in the quality of life areas that are important to young professionals will follow.”

Prior to voting on the issue, the YPW Board hosted a Pro/Con Forum about the sales tax referendum that featured speakers from the supporting and opposing sides of the issue.  A recording from this event is available on the YPW website at this link.

What other organizations are supporting the proposed sales tax?

Fluhr_Jeff

Jeff Fluhr is the President of Wichita Downtown Development Corporation and a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors.

On August 18, the Chamber’s Board of Directors announced their support of the 1 percent sales tax referendum. Wichitans will have the opportunity to vote on this issue on November 4. During the next few months Chamber members will utilize the blog to provide commentary and answer questions about this issue. Today’s question is answered by Chamber Board member Jeff Fluhr.   

Yes. The WDDC Board of Directors has joined the Boards of Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau and the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce in voting to support the 1 percent sales tax referendum. WDDC President Jeff Fluhr says, “the sales tax will advance the development of our community by providing a reliable water source, improving our transit system, enhancing our roads and expanding our business base.”

The mission of the Wichita Downtown Development Corporation (WDDC) is to strengthen Downtown Wichita as “the heart of the region.”  Fluhr said the sales tax initiative is aligned with the organization’s mission of creating a vibrant city center and community. “We work closely with the WDDC Board of Directors, private sector partners and local government to stimulate new investment and interest in Downtown Wichita. We also partner with organizations like the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, Go Wichita Convention & Visitors Bureau, Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition (GWEDC), and the Wichita Community Foundation to drive economic growth in the area.”

Fluhr added, “We know that a critical resource for any community is securing a reliable water source. Beyond that fundamental need, job creation is vital for the growth of Downtown and the region. Our Board knows that we must have jobs in order to continue and increase the private sector investment we’ve seen through Project Downtown. This is an opportunity to advance our community and increase our competitiveness as a city.”

YPW sales tax forum

The Young Professionals of Wichita (YPW) are hosting a Sales Tax Forum with representatives from both sides of the issue. The Forum will be held Tuesday, September 9, from 5:30 – 7 p.m. at the Wichita Marriott (9100 E. Corporate Hills Drive).
Schedule of Events
5:30 p.m. – Networking
6:00 p.m. – Remarks from Jennifer Baysinger, Coalition for a Better Wichita
6:15 p.m. – Remarks from Moji Fanimokun and Jon Rolph, Yes Wichita!
6:30 p.m. – Q&A from the audience
Please register at ypwichita.org. This forum is free and open to the public.

“We believe that it is important for young professionals to express their personal point of view about how to best help Wichita prosper,” said Suzy Finn, Executive Director of YPW. “This event is designed to educate our members, and anyone in the community who cares, so that they can make an informed decision prior to voting in November.”

Housed and staffed by the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce, YPW’s mission is to attract, engage and retain diverse young talent to effect positive change for a brighter future. With a membership of more than 2,200, YPW’s number one aspiration is brain gain for Wichita by facilitating professional and social connections, encouraging leadership development and building community pride.