To the editor:
How has it happened that people who support buying open spaces have joined with people who want to buy land for economic development in asking the public to pay for these acquisitions? These are not related issues. I would support open space but not economic development acquisitions with my tax dollars. If they are tied together I will vote against both issues. Why do the open space proponents not make their proposal separately?
Open spaces promote the public good. The buying of land for economic development promotes the good of Realtors, bankers, builders and developers at a cost to the rest of the public. The public will be asked to buy the land and prepare(?) it for economic development. Then we will give the land away with tax abatements (80 percent for 10 years). The new industries will bring more people to Lawrence who will require more roads, schools, water and sewage treatment plants, fire and police presence, etc. This new infrastructure will not be paid for by the new people who necessitate its construction but by all of us. This will translate into continued double-digit yearly property tax increases like the ones I have experienced during the last decade. The plan is a continuation and exacerbation of a time-honored public policy to get the public to pay for the wealth accumulation of a few.
If bankers, Realtors and builders think it is such a good idea to buy land for economic development then let them tax themselves to raise the money.