To the editor:
In recent weeks we have noted the annual "trial balloons" concerning property tax increases. In fact almost all of us will experience a real property tax increase this year because of increased valuations. An actual mill levy increase for the city and county would be a second increase in one year.
I realize that our locally funded needs are increasing. Additionally, our advocated wants are never ending. I also realize that our local law givers do not have a lot of options for raising revenue. Looking at the data, it is clear that property taxes are rising much faster than inflation. How long can we demand that the burden of our city services fall increasingly on the property owner?
Lawrence is unique in that it has a large percentage of properties that are revenue producing. The people renting those properties consume services just like the rest of us. Theoretically, property taxes are passed on to them. In fact, that is not fully the case. Perhaps we should be looking to those renters to pay more of their "fair share" in maintaining the services and amenities our community offers. I know that other jurisdiction with a similar disproportionate number of rental properties have established some form of a "renters tax." Maybe it is time for our law-givers to consider a similar initiative to more equitably distribute the cost of civilization in our fine city.