The Manhattan City Commission unanimously approved three resolutions on Tuesday to provide sales tax exemptions for three housing projects in the city of Manhattan.
The three projects included Sunflower Flats, Cypress Ridge and the Hunter Drive Apartments. Throughout their discussion on Tuesday, the commissioners were comfortable with using industrial revenue bonds on the projects. The city will commit over $312,000 in incentives to cover building fees and water and sewer connection, paid for primarily through the city’s workforce housing sales tax fund, with economic development funds covering the remainder, according to Mayor Wynn Butler.
“My preference is we use job force funds so we stay within the definition of work force housing,” he said. And use the EcoDevo money to fill the hole. I would also stretch it so we can handle the building permit fee.”
Commissioner Peter Oppelt says he believes the projects meet the city’s definition of workforce housing and supported the resolutions.
“We have been very diligent at staying with the scope of the sales tax question,” he said. “The sales tax question specifically states it will be used for workforce housing.”
Commissioner John Matta voted in favor of the three amendments saying commissioners need to do more to address housing challenges.
“I really want to see us progress in terms of housing,” he said. “I’d be willing to look at any source of funds to get this down.”
Commissioner Karen McCulloh abstained on the Cypress Ridge project due to her connection to the Manhattan Area Housing Partnership.
The city’s action increases the chances for all three projects to qualify for state sales tax exemptions, which will be awarded

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