A taxpayer organization hopes to keep local mill levies in check.
A taxpayer watchdog group, spurred by a Lawrence man's battle with the Douglas County appraiser's office, has organized and scheduled its first meeting.
Douglas County Taxpayers for Fair Property Evaluation and Taxation, which is co-chaired by Don Cashatt and former Douglas County Commissioner Bob Neis, will meet at 7:30 a.m. April 18 in Building 1 at the Douglas County 4-H Fairgrounds, 21st and Harper.
``Our main objective is to monitor the evaluation of property and the mill levy rate to see that the same amount of taxes is produced,'' Cashatt said.
``If we're going to jump valuations as rapidly as we are, then we feel the mill rate ought to reflect a reduction,'' he said.
Cashatt became something of a lightning rod for taxpayer dissatisfaction when he locked horns with county officials over the valuation placed on his home at 2714 Iowa. The home has become surrounded by commercial development and Cashatt maintains that his valuation and, accordingly, his taxes should not be boosted because of a situation he did not create.
Martha Parker of Clinton is secretary and Jim Waltz of Baldwin is treasurer of the group.
Karl Peterjohn, a conservative columnist affiliated with the Wichita-based Kansas Taxpayers Network, will speak at the April 18 meeting.
Cashatt said any U.S. citizen who owns real property in Douglas County is eligible to join the organization. Annual dues are $10.
Members will monitor budget hearings held by the Lawrence and Douglas County commissions and the Lawrence school board. They also will track state legislation affecting taxpayers.
``We as citizens have really lost control of what's going on,'' Cashatt said. ``We don't know what's going on.''