UPDATE: Thursday, July 17, 2012
The Kansas Star Casino has been in operation for just short of seven months, but a nearby community says it is already noticing positive effects.
Mulvane's city administrator has proposed a tax cut. Kent Hixson's budget proposal for fiscal year 2013 includes a 10-percent reduction in the city's property tax mill levy. That's just one use of casino revenues people who live in Mulvane are excited about.
"We've got a backlog of projects we need to be working on and, fortunately, we should have the resources to be able to accomplish those goals," Hixson said.
He says in the seven months since the casino opened, the city's share of casino revenue has totaled nearly $900,000.
"We were like any other city over the past few years," Hixson said. "We've been delaying or putting off improvements because we didn't have the money."
There is now plenty of money to improve infrastructure and parks in Mulvane. There is also enough revenue that Hixson has proposed the mill levy reduction.
Right now, the City of Mulvane's property tax mill levy is 52.7 mills. Next month, the city council will decide whether to reduce that to $46.3 mills. For example, the owner of a $120,000 house in Mulvane currently pays about $690 per year in property taxes. If the budget proposal is adopted, about $69 will come off of that total.
Jason Minson, who was at one of Mulvane's parks with his young family Tuesday, is excited about the proposal.
"It sounds like a good idea, actually," he said. "Kids need bigger parks and stuff like that and safer streets. We all need it."
Hixson said, so far, the casino has not changed Mulvane's culture.
He described Mulvane as, "a quiet community, a safe community, where you can raise your children."
Minson said that culture is why he is raising his family in Mulvane. However, he is also looking forward to some projected growth.
"Everything's going to start expanding, getting Mulvane a little bigger," he said. "Might be as big as Derby one day. More stores, more places to go; places to have fun."
Hixson said he is aware Mulvane is in a very unique position. He said he also feels fortunate Mulvane is not faced with having to make cuts in services or having to raise taxes.
He said this is the reason the city so aggressively pursued the casino.
Thursday, July 17, 2012
The Mulvane City Council has agreed to include a 10% reduction in city property taxes in 2013 and a 5% reduction in city electrical rates in 2012 as part of the city’s 2013 budget plan. The proposal was presented by city staff Monday night at the city’s regular council meeting. The budget is expected to be approved on August 6th.
“It is gratifying to see positive impact is already being realized by revenue we receive from Kansas Star Casino,” Kent Hixson, Mulvane City Manager said.
Along with additional property tax dollars, the city of Mulvane receives 1% of gross gaming revenue generated by Kansas Star Casino. With revenue higher than anticipated, the more than $844,000 that’s been paid to Mulvane has already surpassed what city leaders expected in all of 2012.
“This money gives us the ability to start projects the city of Mulvane has been in need of for several years,” said Hixson.
The additional property taxes and gaming revenue will fund a new EMS substation, to be open next spring near the Kansas Star Casino. A tornado siren has already been installed in this area, providing a warning people living in that area have never had before.
The Kansas Star is participating in the cost of a new elevated water storage tower to improve fire protection for the City. The Kansas Star is also currently funding the cost of Mulvane’s new waste water treatment plant on the west side of town.
“Mulvane is our home,” said Scott Cooper, Kanas Star Casino General Manager. “We happy to see we’re making a positive impact on a community that’s been incredibly supportive of us.”