Bismarck voters, on Tuesday, approved all three city measures, including Measure 1, which will levy an additional half-cent sales tax to be used to improve eight major arterial roadways.
Bismarck City Commissioner Steve Marquardt said he’s glad citizens approved the other measures.
“We left it up to the citizens to vote,” he said. “Now we will move forward and work on getting the roads done.”
Measure 1, which, according to unofficial results, passed with 55.46 percent of the votes, implements a new half-cent sales tax, to sunset after 10 years, to be used to construct new arterial roadways and improve existing ones. The tax is tied to a predetermined project list, which was vetted by the city commission:
- 43rd Avenue/Ash Coulee Drive from Tyler Parkway to 66th Street
- Centennial Road from Interstate 94 to 43rd Avenue
- Main Avenue from 26th Street to 66th Street
- State Street from Calgary Avenue to N.D. Highway 1804/71st Avenue
- Washington Street from Burleigh Avenue to south Bismarck drainage ditch
- Century Avenue from Centennial Road to 66th Street
- Tyler Parkway from Valley Drive to 57th Avenue
- 57th Avenue from Washington Street to State Street
The city commission will have the final say on what order the infrastructure improvements will be completed in. The tax would cease to be collected if the list is wrapped up sooner than 10 years.
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The estimated revenue needed to complete all of the projects is $217 million, according to Bismarck City Administrator Keith Hunke, who said the half-cent sales tax will generate an estimated $77.5 million over the course of 10 years.
Measure 2, which, according to unofficial results, passed with 59.23 percent of the votes, will cap the existing 25-mill property tax buydown at 2019 levels.
According to city staff, the value of 25 mills has grown faster than overall sales tax revenue and now consumes more than 60 percent of all sales tax revenue generated in Bismarck. In 2019, of the $15.5 million in sales tax revenue, about $9.6 million will be used to buy down 25 mills of property tax.
Measure 3, which, according to unofficial results, passed with 70.77 percent of the votes, will remove redundant and expired language, as well as language related to previously approved and completed projects, from section 17 of Bismarck’s Home Rule Charter.
It will also add language required by recent changes in state law regarding the streamlined sales tax and will include “remote sales” in tax collection.