Lawrence City Commission to consider sales tax break for Boys and Girls Club teen center

At its meeting Tuesday, the Lawrence City Commission will consider a request from the Boys and Girls Club of Lawrence to waive sales tax on construction materials for the club’s new teen center.

The commission will decide whether to issue the club up to $5 million in industrial revenue bonds, a type of special financing that would allow the teen center project to buy construction materials without paying sales tax.

The total value of the sales tax exemption is estimated to be $181,000, according to a city staff memo. Of that amount, the city would forgo about $42,000 in sales tax revenue and Douglas County about $7,000. The state would forgo about $130,000.

The club is a nonprofit organization that provides before- and after-school activities for school children. The club’s current teen center has limited space, and the club has a waiting list of middle- and high-school families it is unable to serve, according to its incentives application. The club’s new teen center, the Center for Great Futures, will enable the club to serve five times as many middle- and high-school students.

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