HARTINGTON — The Hartington City Council Monday decided to give voters the chance to vote on a 1.5 percent city sales tax.
The community first voted in 2007 to adopt a one percent city sales tax.
State law stipulated that the authority to levy that sales tax would expire after 15 years, however, requiring a new vote of the people prior to 2022.
The Hartington Economic Development Board presented the Council with a plan to reauthorize the sales tax in time to get it on the November ballot.
The Board also suggested the tax be bumped up by one-half percent.
Hartington Mayor Mark Becker said the sales tax has played a huge role in the development of the city.
“The program has been very successful,” he said. “It’s been great for the community and it’s great that people who shop here share in the cost to help improve the town.”
Councilman Roman Sudbeck agreed. Sudbeck made the motion to accept the Economic Development Board’s proposal to put the issue to a vote of the people.
“It is very important that this get approved. It’s very necessary,” he said before making the motion to accept the plan.
Economic Development President Chris Miller said now that the city is on board with the plan, his group and the City Council will need to get out and talk to people about the importance of the sales tax.
“We will have to start promoting this,” he said. “We have to make sure everyone knows they have to vote.”
Miller said the city and Economic Development Board launched an extensive education campaign the last time the issue was bought up to the voters.
“Last time we went door to door,” he said. “I don’t think we will be able to do that this time around, but we will have to do something.”