The City of Lawrence utilizes tax dollars in a variety of ways. Each summer, the City Commission adopts the budget of the next year. Sales taxes are an important source of revenue for funding the budget, providing almost half of the revenue for general city expenses.
The City sales tax for Lawrence is 1.55 cents. Of this, 1 cent of the sales tax supports general operations. The other .55 cents are special sales taxes that began April 1, 2019 and are set to sunset after 10 years. The breakdown of the special sales taxes are as follows, .3 cents funds streets and infrastructure projects, .2 cents supports Lawrence Public Transit, and the remaining .05 cents are for affordable housing.
Sales Tax Rate in Lawrence: 9.30 percent
|Breakdown of sales tax|
|Total tax rate||9.30%|
The sales tax rate in Lawrence is 9.30 cents of every taxable dollar. This includes State, County, and City sales taxes. The Kansas Department of Revenue maintains an up-to-date list of sales tax rate changes at http://www.ksrevenue.org/salesratechanges.html.
A special question election was held and approved in conjunction with the general election on November 7, 2017, regarding sales tax renewal proposals for public transportation, infrastructure and equipment, and affordable housing. For additional information, please visit our Sales Tax Renewal Proposal page.
Special Tax Districts
Special taxing districts are used throughout the State. Some nearby retail destinations with special sales taxes include Village West in Kansas City, Kansas, and Oak Park Mall in Overland Park. The Department of Revenue maintains an up-to-date list of all special taxing districts in Kansas at https://www.kssst.kdor.ks.gov/lookup.cfm.
In Lawrence, there are three areas where an additional sales tax is charged. A transportation development district (TDD) adds an additional sales tax to the base sales tax for the purpose of generating revenue to reimburse the project for certain transportation-related expenses associated with the development. In all cases, the developer fronts the funds to pay for the improvements and is reimbursed over time as TDD revenue is generated. The City is not obligated to reimburse these expenses unless the revenue is generated. There is currently a 1-cent Transportation Development District sales tax in the following locations:
The Oread Hotel
Adjacent to the University of Kansas at 12th and Indiana, the City Commission approved a 22 year TDD for this project in April of 2008. This luxury hotel is 11 floors tall providing 99 rooms, multiple bars and restaurants, a day spa, and commanding views of the Wakarusa River Valley. The TDD sales tax will be in place for 22 years and will be used to help pay for up to $11 million in developer-paid, transportation related public infrastructure expenses.
This project is located at the northeast corner of the intersection of 6th and Wakarusa Streets. Approved by the City Commission in October of 2008, Bauer Farms provides a variety of retail stores for residents of western Lawrence. The TDD sales tax will be in place for 22 years and will reimburse up to $6.8 million in developer-paid, transportation related public infrastructure expenses.
9th & New Hampshire
A 1% TDD sales tax was authorized in 2014 by the City Commission to support a new, mixed-use hotel with retail space and underground parking in the South Project Area (located within the southeast quadrant of the 9th & New Hampshire intersection) and a new, mixed-use apartment complex with commercial space and underground parking in the North Project Area (located within the northeast quadrant of the intersection). The 22 year TDD will reimburse up to $3 million, with the first $850,000 used to pay back bonds on the public parking garage located in the 900 block of New Hampshire Street and the remainder to reimburse developer-paid, transportation related public infrastructure expenses.
All special taxing districts in the City are available via interactive maps on the City’s GIS maps page.
- 2008 voter approved sales tax – In November of 2008, voters approved three new sales tax proposals. Each of these taxes, which became effective April 1, 2009 and which
remained in effect for ten years, had a dedicated purpose:
- 0.3 percent for streets and infrastructure
- 0.2 percent for public transportation
- 0.05 percent for public transportation, expanded
- 1994 voter approved sales tax