To the editor:
I read with interest your recent story regarding the proposed tax abatement for Berry Plastics. I found the willingness of our government to abate taxes for potential expansion of that plant disturbing.
As I read that information, it appeared to me that any potential advantage gained by agreeing to the employer's scheme is far outweighed by the additional burden that such a proposal puts upon the taxpayers here in Douglas County who are required to pay their full tax burden. Particularly, it seems that such a proposal shifts that tax burden properly placed on a large employer, such as Berry, upon all of us employers who are unable to qualify for such a boondoggle.
However, the most disturbing aspect of the article was the quote from the company representative. The article indicated he said that "property taxes would still be higher in Lawrence than in other communities, even after the abatement."
Obviously there is something wrong with our local tax structure if, even after granting a 90 percent property tax abatement, a business owner's property taxes are higher than other communities. Perhaps we should be making an effort to abate property taxes for all of the small business owners in Lawrence who are not able to enjoy the privileges of an abatement and who pay property taxes that far exceed their counterparts elsewhere.