While “Yes Wichita” campaigns for higher sales taxes, it operates from a building that received a special exemption from paying sales tax.
Many Wichitans remember the building at the northwest corner of First and Market Streets as the Kansas Gas and Electric Building. Today, under new ownership, it’s being converted to luxury apartments under the name “The Lux.”
The new owners of The Lux felt that they shouldn’t have to pay sales tax on things they purchase (like construction materials) while renovating the building. So they approached the city. On October 2, 2012 the city granted their request and initiated the process whereby The Lux will avoid paying sales taxes.
Fast forward two years. Now there’s a proposal to add one cent per dollar to the sales tax in Wichita. A group named “Yes Wichita” formed to promote the higher sales tax.
When “Yes Wichita” — a group that campaigns for you to pay higher sales taxes on nearly everything from baby formula to automobiles — needed campaign headquarters, do you know where it decided to locate?
That’s right. In The Lux, a building that does not have to pay sales tax on materials used in its conversion to luxury apartments.
Really. I’m not kidding.