2025 Derby Difference Sales Tax 

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On May 9, 2023, the Derby City Council approved a resolution to submit to the qualified electors of the City of Derby, Kansas the proposition of levying a 1% special purpose retailers’ sales tax. The 1% Derby Difference sales tax would take the place of the expiring half percent sales tax starting Jan. 1, 2025 and run through Dec. 31, 2034 (see ballot question below). 

The new sales tax is estimated to generate approximately $4-5 million per year in new revenue ($8-10 million in total yearly) that will be invested in public safety equipment and capital improvements, streets and sidewalks maintenance and improvements, and parks and trails maintenance and improvements. Those investments from the sales tax will also help ease the property tax burden on Derby residents. The new Derby Difference sales tax will be a critical piece in allowing Derby to thrive and continue to be a community of excellence in Kansas. 

Derby has a reputation for being a community of excellence in the Wichita metro area. We take pride in being a vibrant, well-maintained City. The Derby Difference sales tax will be a critical piece in ensuring there are adequate funds to keep Derby a thriving place by investing in streets, parks, and public safety. View the Derby Difference flyer

How Will the Tax Dollars be Spent?

The City listened to its residents. A community survey was sent out in early 2023 that measured how residents want to best invest tax dollars and their willingness to pay for items. The top three preferences from residents from the survey were: maintaining high quality public safety, streets/ sidewalks/ drainage maintenance and improvements, and city parks and trail maintenance. The proposed ballot question focuses on addressing those top three items from the survey. Of the proposed 1% sales tax the City Council intends to spend 45% on street maintenance, 45% on park maintenance, and 10% on public safety equipment and capital improvements. 

Derby Difference_1Cent

Why Sales Tax?

The 2023 community survey showed a majority of Derby residents greatly prefer sales tax over property tax. Nearly 6,000 people outside of Derby come here to work each day. This is in addition to the people who come for medical services, dining, shopping and to enjoy regional attractions such as Rock River Rapids, the Library, and to use our parks system. Those same visitors who shop visit our parks and drive on Derby streets, benefitting from maintenance and improvement of those items, without having to pay the property taxes that are utilized to provide them. A sales tax helps more equitably distribute the costs associated with providing the services enjoyed by many outside the City and helps relieve the property tax burden on Derby residents. 

In addition, Derby has a pull factor of 1.26, which means nearly 30% of sales tax revenues for the City come from people who live outside Derby and choose to shop in Derby. That pull factor is the 7th highest of all 26 first class cities in Kansas, while at the same time Derby has the second lowest sales tax rate of first class cities. Even with the 1/2% increase from the Derby Difference Sales Tax  the City will still be tied for the second lowest sales tax rate of any first class cities in Kansas. The two charts below show the pull factors and sales tax rates of first class cities in Kansas.

2022 Pull Factor
2023 Sales Tax Rates Graph

How will the new sales tax impact my wallet?

To the right are some examples of what a 0.5% increase in local sales tax would mean in cost on some typical items for Derby residents. It is a minimal incremental increase. In addition, the State is eliminating the State sales tax on food you buy at the grocery store starting in 2025. This means the average household in Derby will already be experiencing a decrease of ~30% on their grocery food tax due to the state decrease, even with the increase in the City's portion of 0.5%. 

Derby Difference_Local Sales Tax comparison chart

Property Tax Stabilization 

The City Council is interested in shifting more funding to sales tax from property tax where possible, sharing that financial burden with the nearly 30% of our sales tax that comes from visitors. The City understands the property tax burden that residents are feeling, especially with the large increases in property values being seen in recent years and wants to ease that burden where possible. With the Derby Difference Sales Tax the City would look at funding street maintenance and public safety equipment at proper funding levels needed for the future and would not have to utilize property tax for those items like has been traditionally done. Shifting that funding to sales tax from property tax will allow the City to provide property tax relief. Property tax stabilization is a commitment that the City's property tax rate will remain stable or be reduced during the life of the Derby Difference Sales Tax. 

Derby's current mill levy rate is 46.978 and the City Council recently approved the 2024 budget with a reduction in mill levy to 46.000. The City has lowered the mill levy every year from 2021-2024. The City wants to be a good steward of the taxpayers dollars and the Derby Difference Sales Tax will aid in stabilizing the property tax while also enhancing the quality of life and services in Derby. See chart below for a comparison of property tax mill levy's in the Wichita area.  

City Mill Levy Comparison

What will be the ballot question on November 7 look like? 

Shall the City of Derby, Kansas, be authorized, upon expiration of the existing one-half percent (1/2%) Citywide retailers’ sales tax, to impose a one percent (1%) Citywide special purpose retailers' sales tax, the proceeds of which shall be used only for the following purposes, including the payment of financing costs related thereto: (1) public safety equipment and capital improvements; (2) streets and sidewalks maintenance and improvements; and (3) parks and trails maintenance and improvements; with the collection of the sales tax to commence on January 1, 2025, or as soon thereafter as permitted by law, and shall terminate ten years after its commencement; all pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 12-187 et seq., as amended? 

To vote in favor of the question submitted on this ballot, darken the oval to the left of the word "Yes." To vote against it, darken the oval to the left of the word "No."

May 9, 2023 City Council Agenda Item

How do I find out more about the Derby Difference Sales Tax?  

The City of Derby has compiled a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs) regarding the proposed Derby Difference sales tax. See the list of FAQs.