Manhattan voters approved a sales tax increase in November 2016 that will provide additional funding for street repairs and Safe Routes to School projects.
The measure will increase sales tax from 8.75% to 8.95% starting April 1, 2017. It will sunset after 10 years. The tax increase is expected to generate $2 million annually, with $1.9 million dedicated for existing street repairs and the remaining $100,000 going to Safe Routes projects.
The city anticipates seeing the first revenues from the tax increase in June 2017. Projects will begin to be scheduled in 2018 using these funds.
Approximately 95% of the sales tax revenue would be used to repair Manhattan streets. We use a Pavement Condition Index (PCI) to rate each street's condition based on pavement type and severity of deficiencies such as cracking, patching, dropoff, potholes and weathering. Streets with a PCI below 70 on a scale of 0 to 100 are considered below the acceptable average. We currently have more than 150 lane miles in that category. These streets will be considered annually for repairs.
Approximately 5% of revenues collected go to the Safe Routes to School program. In 2015, the City accepted a phase I study on potential bicycle and pedestrian improvements near Manhattan's eight elementary schools. The plan details sidewalk, crosswalk and other improvements to make walking and biking to school safer for students. The second phase of the plan requires funding for implementation.