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On City approves budget with slight property tax increase, great hopes of improving economy in 2014

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David Holroyd 1 year, 5 months ago

So who pays the insurance on the truck? Repairs? Replacement of the truck? Retirees are not coming to Lawtence!

loudmouthrealist 1 year, 5 months ago

I lied on the survey question! Thank you LJWorld and Google to push me into using a NON-Google search engine from now on.

SpeedRacer 1 year, 5 months ago

Yeah, the blurb about it said they would appear randomly, but the show up on every single story.

Alma Bahman 1 year, 5 months ago

If you're having difficulty with Google Surveys appearing on multiple questions a day or have encountered other bugs, please send an email describing the issue to Suzanne Schlicht, Chief Operating Officer of The World Company, at sschlicht@theworldco.net. Thank you.

Alma Bahman, LJW

50YearResident 1 year, 5 months ago

Where are the donations coming from? Why are donations not sent directly to the food bank by the donor? Where, and what kind of a refrigerated truck can you buy for $25,000? Robbing Peter to pay Paul or taking cash out of one pocket and putting it into another. This seems to be the regular City policy now.

justfoodks 1 year, 5 months ago

50Year:

Donations will be coming from various grocery stores and convenience stores, as well as hopefully some restaurants in our community. Right now, we don't have the ability to transport refrigerated product, due to the fact that it is a food safety hazard for many things to not be refrigerated at temperature (especially dairy).

The donor doesn't have the resources to send someone down to the food bank, or the refrigeration to keep something cool to transport it. Many stores are busy with their own operations, and to require them to send someone down with donations is definitely not feasible. I'm sure stores would love to be able to do that, they just can't.

I might remind you that this was an approved expense under the CDBG Advisory Board's funding. Only after HUD saw this wasn't defined as a capital improvement, did the City still want to accomplish both goals, both with the fixing of sidewalks, and the CDBG Advisory Board's desire to fund Just Food for a truck.

If you have any questions, please let me know.

Jeremy

justfoodks 1 year, 5 months ago

Wilbur:

Thanks for your always intriguing questions and thoughtful responses.

Insurance and repairs of the truck will be paid for out of our approved 2013 budget. We budgeted for a truck in the event we got a grant for one.

We don't have a replacement plan for a truck that we just got a grant for. It will be something that we work towards in our reserve funds, I would imagine.

Jeremy

no_thanks 1 year, 5 months ago

Why would the City take on the debt of the shelter? This is not the purpose of City Hall. Will they file a mortgage against the buying? Will the City take action in the event of default? My guess is no. Family Promise continues to help the homeless without tipping the public fund spigot. Why can't the shelter?

50YearResident 1 year, 5 months ago

Who owns the shelter building? Who is responsible for the mortgage payments now?

no_thanks 1 year, 5 months ago

A mortgage against the building. Damn autocorrect.

Matthew Herbert 1 year, 5 months ago

What did they decide re: the $10,000 to Eutin for a music festival?

Chad Lawhorn 1 year, 5 months ago

It is not in the budget based on last night's actions. In fact, it never came up for discussion. Thanks, Chad

Richard Heckler 1 year, 5 months ago

Approving a budget based on rumors that the economy will improve significantly is like playing Wall Street. Increasing taxes based on the same rumor is risky business X 2.

I see nor hear anything of the sort. Topeka,Kansas and Washington D.C. are still pulling tax dollars aka money from the economy. Wall Street banks are still having fun with taxpayer bailout money in the form of bonus packages...... NOT putting this money into the economy.

Wall Street activity should never be used as an indicator. Housing prices should never be used as an indicator. New housing starts should never be used as an indicator.

The one and only indicator should be the report that 10 million UNEMPLOYED workers are back to work making no less than $75,000 a year. That is nowhere in sight.

Another indicator could be that IMPROVED Medicare Single Payer insurance has been implemented for that would definitely stimulate new business opportunity..

KU_cynic 1 year, 5 months ago

In the long-run Lawrence's economic fundamentals will no doubt improve, but . . .

I don't see much improvement for home prices in the next year, as there's too much supply, no indications of population increase to drive demand, and a lot of competition from the over-supplied rental market; at least renters will have more disposable income to spend as rents are likely to be suppressed for many years. Mortgage rates are also going back up, hurting housing affordability.

Also, KU spending and salaries will increase only moderately, and enrollments of students are flat. The rest of the government employee sector (school district, city, county) may grow some, but that's just take from Peter to pay Paul growth that can't be sustained without private sector income growth.

Utility bills (electricity, water and sewer, trash collection, etc.) are going up. So are health care costs. Disposable incomes that fuel discretionary spending and sales tax revenues can't be expected to increase much.

In short, I don't see how the city of Lawrence can bet on the come with regard to growth in the tax base.

jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

Well, we just looked into refinancing, and could get a rate of more than 1% less than the one we got just a few years ago, so rates are lower now than then.

And, the one we got then was pretty low, historically speaking.

verity 1 year, 5 months ago

But how long will it take to break even on closing costs?

jafs 1 year, 5 months ago

That's a good question, and why we didn't choose to do it.

I was just responding to the assertion that mortgage rates are going up, since they appear to be down from a few years ago, when they were already lower than a lot of the time.

So, even if they went back up to when we got our loan, they wouldn't be high enough to discourage home buyers.

KU_cynic 1 year, 5 months ago

Yes, mortgage rates are still low, but not as low as over the past year or so and still heading up.

Sue McDaniel 1 year, 5 months ago

While I am thrilled to hear the economy is going to improve, I do not believe it and my BUDGET will not count on it until it is a reality instead of a pie in the sky to allow spending money that is not in the bank!!!!! Sure wish I could!

Dave Trabert 1 year, 5 months ago

The headline says there is a "slight" property tax increase but the story says spending is going up 6%. Taxpayers deserve to be told how much actual tax collections will increase; the mill rate is only a small part of the story.

Property taxes increased 134% in Douglas County between 1997 and 2012 while the mill rate only increased 18%. Local government needs to be honest about the amount that taxes will increase as a result of their spending decisions.

Historical info on property taxes by county (including all jurisdictions within a county) are at http://www.kansasopengov.org/PropertyTax/PropertyTaxSummary/tabid/1573/Default.aspx?County=Douglas

elliottaw 1 year, 5 months ago

Yeah tell your people in Topeka to start being honest for a change, heck they might even like it if they ever tried it

repaste 1 year, 5 months ago

shudder Dave the Koch is right. If valuations are rising, our taxes are rising unless mill rates decrease. Any mill increase is a double whammy for our taxes. A 6% increase is more like it, with larger increases to come. That is the predicted outcome of our Topeka policies as Dave well knows. Lower taxes for corporations = higher taxes for most.

Dave Trabert 1 year, 5 months ago

For the record, our position on tax policy is that burdens should be reduced on everyone. As for the predictions that tax reform will lead to higher local taxes, that is entirely within the control of local governments. They may well raise sales and property taxes but frankly, that's just an excuse to continue what they've been doing for decades.

elliottaw 1 year, 5 months ago

I thought you were going to start telling the truth? You say you believe that burdens should be reduced for everyone but your and your cohorts are taking every step to keep that from happening. Until you start living what you preach you will continue to be looked at as a group of liars out to protect the companies that pay you to do their dirty work.

Dave Trabert 1 year, 5 months ago

Our policy position has been consistently in support of reducing all tax burdens. We were also opposed to increasing the sales tax.

elliottaw 1 year, 5 months ago

What you state as your position and your actions are two completly different things however

Dave Trabert 1 year, 5 months ago

That is not true but please cite a specific example that prompts you to believe otherwise.

Tomato 1 year, 5 months ago

Couldn't afford that extra $30,000 for the Humane Society because the Library needed $140,000 to "help it expand." 18M just wasn't enough help.

50YearResident 1 year, 5 months ago

Sell the idea to the public at a low price and then after it is at the point of no return, stick in the extra hidden expenses. Works every time.

Jean Robart 1 year, 5 months ago

What did they vote regarding Just Food? I didn't see that anywhere in the article--which i read three times to be sure.

50YearResident 1 year, 5 months ago

They robbed Peter to pay pay Paul . It's explained in the left "side bar".

LadyWolf 1 year, 5 months ago

Read under the "City Commission briefs" column to the left of the article on blue background to find info regarding Just Food

Ladybug2 1 year, 5 months ago

I agree that the City shouldn't be taking on the mortgage of the Community shelter. It seems as though the shelter just keeps asking for more and more at the expense of the working tax payers.

50YearResident 1 year, 5 months ago

It is a money pit with no bottom. Expenses will go up every year, dig deeper.

FB 1 year, 5 months ago

Isn't it supposed to be the other way around that if the economy is improving why do taxes need to be increased. In other words, more money should come in from their so called improved economy. By the way, I didn't know the city hires fortunetellers. This city is spending money like water. That sports complex will become a money pit for the taxpayers of this city.

FB 1 year, 5 months ago

This town sure gives a green light to building apartments...just carte a blanche!

FB 1 year, 5 months ago

The only increase is that people will move away from Lawrence!

FB 1 year, 5 months ago

The director at the humane society received a larger salary than her predecessor. Government/City/Nonprofit organizations seem to do pretty well getting increases in wages over the last few years while the economy has limped along. There is only so much that can be squeezed out of the taxpayers before the well runs dry.

Shefflerman 1 year, 5 months ago

The previous contract between the City of Lawrence and the Lawrence Humane Society meant that the Humane Society was not receiving enough funding to pay for all of the services rendered. The increase was requested so that the Humane Society was receiving enough money to cover the cost of all of these services.

Why should the Humane Society be paid $280,000 when they are providing $360,000 worth of work?

Also, what does the director's pay have to do with the fact that Lawrence was not paying the costs for all of the services they need?

If increasing funding to the Humane Society to cover these costs is not the answer, what would be the better solution?

FB 1 year, 5 months ago

The State of Kansas is going to have a big deficit to correct due to allowing some not to be taxes on income. Many legislators will probably benefit from this as well. I am sure they voted in their best interests, not ours.

Steve Jacob 1 year, 5 months ago

2014 might bring 5-6% 30 year mortgages and $4+ gas, that will slow a hot economy.

NewKansan 1 year, 5 months ago

A ghetto east of Kasold? I'll take you to a few spots in KC and Chicago and show you what a real ghetto is like. Now are some areas in East Lawrence the best in the world? No. But don't make it sound worse than it is.

An honest question though...are you ever positive about anything? Do you not like living here? If not, why do you stay? And I don't mean this as a snarky question...just curious.

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