A group calling itself the Public Funds Protective Committee has gone on record as opposing the proposed increase in the city's sales tax rate.
The committee on Sunday began what will be a series of advertisements in the Journal-World urging a "no" vote in the Aug. 7 referendum, in which city voters will be asked to approve a -percent increase in the local sales tax. City officials say proceeds from the tax will go toward hiring an additional 27 police officers and nine firefighters with the remainder going toward reducing property taxes for the city's property owners.
In its first advertisement, which ran in Sunday's newspaper, the group says, "Lawrence citizens already pay a half-cent sales tax for enhanced police and fire departments. That tax will raise an estimated $2,800,000 this year. The amount we pay already goes up every year."
Paul Howard, a Lawrence resident who has been active in past tax protests, is listed as treasurer of the Public Funds Protective Committee.
"The sales tax, in my mind, always has been an unfair tax," Howard said this morning. "I've always felt that way, and there's no reason to think it isn't today."
He described the Public Funds Protective Committee as "some people of a like mind who think similarly on the sales tax question." He declined to elaborate on the size or composition of the group.