Tag: Visit Wichita

Wichita needs transparency from its agencies
Wichita city government

Wichita needs transparency from its agencies

When the Wichita city council delegates spending to outside agencies such as Visit Wichita, it should insist on the same transparency requirements the city itself faces. The Kansas Open Records Act is designed to give citizens access to data concerning their government. In the words of the Kansas Attorney General, "An open and transparent government is essential to the democratic process." The preamble to the Kansas act states, "It is declared to be the public policy of the state that public records shall be open for inspection by any person unless otherwise provided by this act, and this act shall be liberally construed and applied to promote such policy." (emphasis added) That isn't always the case in Wichita. Here, the city has formed several non-profit organizations that are funded ...
Wichita tourism fee budget
Wichita city government

Wichita tourism fee budget

The Wichita City Council will consider a budget for the city's tourism fee paid by hotel guests. If you stay at a hotel in Wichita, you'll pay sales tax of 7.5 percent, hotel tax (transient guest tax) of 6.00 percent, and since 2015, a tourism fee of 2.75 percent. The tourism fee arises from the city's creating of a Tourism Business Improvement District (TBID), with boundaries matching those of the city. [1. City of Wichita, Ordinance No. 49-677. Available at http://www.wichita.gov/CityClerk/OrdanicesDocuments/49-677%20TBID%20Ordinance%20-%20version%204.pdf.] Funds collected from this fee go to Visit Wichita, the city's visitor and convention bureau. (Of note, the TBID ordinance specifies that if the tax is itemized on hotel bills, it is to be called the "Tourism Fee." Everyone pays, even...
Liquor tax and the NCAA basketball tournament in Wichita
Economics

Liquor tax and the NCAA basketball tournament in Wichita

Liquor enforcement tax collections provide insight into the economic impact of hosting NCAA basketball tournament games in Wichita. In Kansas, a tax is collected at liquor stores, grocery stores, and convenience stores on the sale of alcoholic beverages. The same tax is also collected on sales to clubs, drinking establishments, and caterers by distributors. [1. "Liquor Enforcement or Sales Tax. The second level of taxation is the enforcement or sales tax, which is imposed on the gross receipts from the sale of liquor or CMB to consumers by retail liquor dealers and grocery and convenience stores; and to clubs, drinking establishments, and caterers by distributors." Also: "Enforcement. Enforcement tax is an in-lieu-of sales tax imposed at the rate of 8 percent on the gross receipts of the ...
Effect of NCAA basketball tournament on Wichita hotel tax revenues
Economics

Effect of NCAA basketball tournament on Wichita hotel tax revenues

Hotel tax collections provide an indication of the economic impact of hosting a major basketball tournament. The Kansas Department of Revenue has released transient guest tax collections for March 2018. This is a tax added to hotel bills in addition to sales tax. The rate in Kansas is 6.00 percent, although some localities add additional tax to that. For the city of Wichita, here are the collections: March 2017: $538,539 March 2018: $543,844 Increase: $5,305 or 0.99 percent With the hotel tax at 6.00 percent, that increase implies additional sales of $88,417 for the same month of the prior year. (The 2.75% tourism fee that is also added to Wichita hotel bills is paid directly to the city, so it does not appear in the statistics from the Kansas Department of Revenue.) While an increase...
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