MISSION, Kansas - The Mission City Council has approved a "driveway tax" as a way to raise revenue for road repairs. The fees will be charged to properties based on how much traffic they generate.
For instance, every homeowner will be charged an estimated $72 per year. However, small businesses could pay $3,558 per year.
According to city figures, larger businesses and restaurants will pay the most. Drive-thru food locations like McDonald’s will fork over $12,245 annually. Target is expected to accumulate the largest tab at $64,750.
No businesses are exempt from the “driveway tax,” including churches, schools and city government buildings.
The fee is expected to raise $1.2 million per year to help ease the burden of $38 million in planned road improvements during the next 10 years.
City administrator Mike Scanlon told NBC Action News he believes Mission is the first city in the Midwest to adopt the tax idea. It is used in some other states like Oregon.
"For the last two years, we've heard from residents and business owners that we need to do something about our streets," said Scanlon.
City officials said lower property tax and sales tax revenue have forced them to find other mechanisms to fund street improvements.
Several business owners, however, told NBC Action News the new fee is a financial burden they can’t handle during the current economy. They worry some places will go out of business.
"The city spends money it doesn't have and now we have to pay for it," said Jim Blakely, who owns a barber shop along Johnson Drive. "This could be the end of my business after 30 years and they don't seem to care."
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