To the editor:
The recent Journal-World article about rising property taxes should surprise no one. I have had letters printed regarding this matter for the past couple of years. Now, one owner is quoted in the paper as saying that they may not be able to sell their house for what the county has it valued at. This is nothing new. I know of one property in Baldwin that the owner ended up selling for $100,000 less than the county had it valued; $192,000 and it sold for LESS! Same property, year after year.
Now what the Journal-World did not present are facts. Fact: a $145,000 property in the city of Lawrence right now pays $1,699.58. Of that amount, $25.01 goes to the state of Kansas, Douglas County gets $426.14, and USD 497 gets $604.58 plus $180.16 for bond and interest.
USD 497 has been reported to be the second largest employer in the city of Lawrence. One of the largest employers, consuming almost 50 percent of the property taxes. Employers paying no property taxes include the city of Lawrence, Douglas County, churches, Kansas University, the federal government, and throw in the employers who get tax abatements, and Lawrence Housing Authority (payment in lieu of ... hardly a fair share!) ... and the list goes on.
A Journal-World article on the employers in the city and their tax status and number of employees would be truly enlightening.