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3/26/2013 11:47:00 AM
Williams to see money from sales tax increase by April
0.5 percent increase to be used for road projects took effect March 1, city officials deciding how to prioritize street work
The intersection at Second Street and Railroad Avenue in front of Pine Country Restaurant is in need of repair. Ryan Williams/WGCN
The intersection at Second Street and Railroad Avenue in front of Pine Country Restaurant is in need of repair. Ryan Williams/WGCN

Marissa Freireich
Williams-Grand Canyon News Reporter

With the city's 0.5 percent sales tax increase starting March 1, Williams will start seeing more money for street repairs next month.

City Manager Brandon Buchanan expects to know how much money the increase generated for March by mid to late April.

"All the money is remitted to the state and then our portions are remitted back to the city," Buchanan said, adding that the distributions are a month behind.

The city is still deciding how to prioritize the streets that will receive work from the tax money.

One of the projects the city has decided on is a portion of Route 66.

A grant from Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) will pay for most of the project, but Buchanan said the city has to match some of the money.

"Part of that money will leverage in the grant to get even more money," he said.

The city will contribute about $60,000 toward about $1.5 million in total project costs.

The Route 66 project extends from Plum Street to the ADOT yard toward Bearizona.

"That project is going to consist of taking approximately three inches of existing surface off to put three inches back on of fresh asphalt," Buchanan said.

The project could start this fall or in spring of 2014, depending on engineering clearances and the construction season.

City staff will discuss other road projects that will receive work from the tax money during the budget planning process. Buchanan said the projects will depend on "what kind of approach we take to street repairs, whether we look at rehab first or preservation first."

The Williams City Council voted to raise the retail and contracting sales tax by 0.5 percent and eliminate the two percent food tax at its Dec. 13 meeting.

The Williams sales tax rate increased from three percent to 3.5 percent, raising the total tax rate from 10.725 to 11.225 percent with city, state and county rates combined.

On March 1, shoppers started paying an additional 50 cents in tax on a $100 transaction in Williams retail stores compared to the tax they were paying before.

In January, Buchanan estimated the tax hike would increase money for road improvement materials in the city's Highway User Revenue Fund (HURF) from approximately $27,000 to $270,000 annually.

Williams' total sales tax rate will drop to 10.225 percent June 1, when a temporary 1-cent per dollar state sales tax ends.

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