Archive for Monday, April 9, 2007

Hack proposes 1-cent sales tax

As mayor, she’ll seek ‘quality of life’ funds

April 9, 2007


Sue Hack is expected to be elected mayor during tonight's Lawrence City Commission meeting. Hack plans to lobby for a 1-cent sales tax during her yearlong term.

Sue Hack is expected to be elected mayor during tonight's Lawrence City Commission meeting. Hack plans to lobby for a 1-cent sales tax during her yearlong term.

Incoming Mayor Sue Hack

Incoming Mayor Sue Hack explains her sales tax proposal. Enlarge video

If tradition follows, Lawrence will have new mayor by tomorrow night

As the second-place finisher in the 2005 election, Commissioner Sue Hack sits on deck to become the next leader of city government. The incoming mayor plans to propose a major change in the city's tax policy. Enlarge video

City Commissioner Sue Hack - who is expected to be elected mayor at tonight's commission meeting - plans to lobby for a new citywide 1-cent sales tax.

During her one-year term as mayor, Hack said she would push for a 1-cent, 10-year sales tax to pay for a new library, new recreational facilities, economic development initiatives and infrastructure projects.

"We have to decide that the kind of things we want, the quality of life we want in this community are going to cost money," said Hack, who plans to discuss the idea at tonight's meeting. "I'm not comfortable in raising property taxes to the extent that we would need to."

Any new 1-cent sales tax, which would raise $12 million to $13 million per year based on current sales, would require approval by city voters. Hack is not sure when a sales tax election should be conducted.

A 1-cent increase would push the city's overall sales tax rate to 8.3 percent, which would make it the highest citywide rate in the state. However, four cities - Olathe, Mission, Roeland Park and Ellsworth - have special taxing districts with rates above 8.3 percent for many of their major shopping areas.

Retail repercussions?

The sales tax proposal may spark concern among several retailers.

"My feeling is that a sales tax increase would be bad for my business," said Dan Hughes, an owner of Sunflower Outdoor and Bike Shop, 804 Mass. "So many of the products we sell are available online with no tax, and lot of times no shipping.

"If you put an extra 1 percent on what I have to charge, it just gives people another reason to think about buying it somewhere else."

Hack said she's aware of the concerns and understands it's a regressive tax, especially in Kansas because grocery purchases are not exempt from sales tax. But Hack said she sensed property taxes were becoming a larger burden for many people.

"Rising property taxes are crippling to people on fixed incomes," Hack said.

Unlike a previous sales tax proposal made by Mayor Mike Amyx in mid-2006, Hack's plan does not include a specific provision to reduce property taxes. Instead, Hack said she thought her sales tax proposal would make it less likely that property taxes had to increase in the future.

She also said that by devoting a quarter of the new sales tax to economic development issues, she's hopeful it will help bring new jobs and businesses to the community, which could reduce the tax burden on existing residents.

Hack, who is a retired teacher and works part-time for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, said additional money is needed for economic development to more aggressively market the community to prospective businesses. Work also needs to be done to convert the former Farmland Industries site and areas near the Lawrence Municipal Airport into new business parks.

Big-ticket items

The other projects the sales tax could fund would be large-ticket items that Hack said the city likely couldn't do with its current revenue stream. They include:

¢ A new Lawrence Public Library. The most recent estimates for a new downtown library and parking garage have been pegged at $30 million. Several commissioners have said they support the idea of expanding the current library or building another one to replace the 35-year-old facility. But so far, commissioners have not settled on how to pay for the library or where it should be built downtown.

¢ New recreational facilities. A citizens group - Partners for Lawrence Athletics and Youth - has been studying the feasibility of creating a recreation complex that could include new ballfields and gym space to accommodate youth league sports. Neither a price tag nor site has been determined for that proposal, but the group is expected to soon release results of a survey polling the public on the need for new recreational facilities.

¢ Major infrastructure projects. The condition of city streets has been a major point of discussion for commissioners during the last two years. The city is rebuilding a portion of Kasold Drive from Clinton Parkway to Bob Billings Parkway, at a cost of about $6 million. That is the most expensive street project the city has undertaken on its own. Engineers have said similar projects will be needed in the future, but commissioners have struggled with how to pay for them.

10-year time frame

The last time local voters approved a new sales tax was in 1994, when they passed a countywide 1-cent sales tax to fund a new jail, health department building, property tax relief and parks and recreation projects.

Unlike that sales tax, which is perpetual, Hack said this one should be written in a way that it automatically will expire after 10 years, unless voters approve it again at the end of 10 years.

"This will probably take a rather massive education effort," Hack said of a sales tax election. "We'll have to let people know what we want to have in terms of quality of life, and also what the consequences are of not doing these things."

Hack is expected to take over as mayor from Amyx, who will stay on the commission. Each year, the commission elects a mayor to serve a one-year term.

Commissioners traditionally have selected the vice mayor to become the next mayor. If tradition holds, Mike Dever - the top vote-winner in last week's election - will be elected vice mayor at tonight's meeting. That would put him in line to serve a one-year term as mayor beginning in April 2008.

Commissioners meet at 6:35 p.m. at City Hall, Sixth and Massachusetts streets.


Richard Heckler 10 years, 10 months ago

What is an economic development initiative? More money for the Chamber? Still going for the $30 million library instead of $17 million? Wonder what the superdome survey will bring to the table? There is currently a one cent tax in place that could fund on site library expansion and rehab recreation areas for soccer etc etc and perhaps taking over YSI. If this were a statewide grocery exempt sales tax to fund healthcare for all I might go for it. It was my impression the previous commission had funneled more money annually into the budget for streets? Proposing a sales tax without hard numbers for any project listed??? After 20 years of broadening the tax base and still not enough money???

taucetiman 10 years, 10 months ago

i'll go out of my way to shop in kansas city if this goes through, i am there everyday, so i'll just stop costco on my way home

imastinker 10 years, 10 months ago

Mike Blur -

have you read any of these comments on here? Nobody is supporting this, no even the people that voted for her.

ToriFreak13 10 years, 10 months ago

The new rec facilities should be put in next to the organic grocer....for those that cant walk all the way to 11th street....

as far as local businesses whining about shoppers online....the people with money....already shop out of town...people ordered from Nebraska Furniture Mart back when it was still in Nebraska. If the locals want taxation to be an issue versus online buying...they should lobby for local governments to enforce Consumption's already a have to "voluntarily" report everything you buy that you dont pay a tax on... Always amazed at the penny pinchers who thrift shop and probably do more spending online than anyone....Have huge voices about taxes.....and even bigger voices when it comes to wanting more in "their" city lol....gee are they gonna pay for all that? Now all we need is an arena like Kemper and this town will be rockin!!!!

skinny 10 years, 10 months ago

Why is it they are always trying to raise our taxes here in Lawrence?

How about getting by with what you have like we the people of Lawrence do!!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 10 months ago

"have you read any of these comments on here? Nobody is supporting this, no even the people that voted for her."

But why did you vote for her, or Dever or Chestnut? As was pointed out by myself and others throughout the election, the reason your taxes are so high is because of the chambercrat govt. by cronyism that ran Lawrence for decades. With a return to that form of govt., the first bit of news is that your taxes are going up-- a lot.

OK, resume banging your heads against the wall. Is it beginning to feel good yet?

KS 10 years, 10 months ago

I got a survey in the mail about the athletic field. Told them how I felt. Somebody spent a lot of money on that survey. Where are the results? A waste of money. Like soccer fields in JoCo. Same with the library. In this day and age, I can't imagine folks ever voting for another tax increase. What are these people smoking? Sue, how about cutting spending for a change. That could improve the quality of life for a whole bunch of people. You won't be long for this commission. Looks like you were made to be the sacrificial lamb.

x96merrill3 10 years, 10 months ago


"Any new 1-cent sales tax, which would raise $12 million to $13 million per year based on current sales, would require approval by city voters. Hack is not sure when a sales tax election should be conducted."

It's another slow news day. There are no more stolen goats to report on. My guess is that Lawhorn is trying to sell papers by stirring the pot of controversy. NOTHING has been initiated. It's an idea that is floating around. I agree with most of you that now is NOT the time to spend more, but rather make the tough decisions as to what can be cut. Once the budget is in place and we have eliminated waste, THEN consider QOL expendatures.

yankeelady 10 years, 10 months ago

It would be great to exempt food from any taxes. Some states have done that for over 30 yrs. Food is a necessity after all, and the people hardest hit by any tax increase probably aren't shopping at Sunflower or Blue Heron, or buying new cars. It's another nail in the coffin of downtown Lawrence, which has been dying for the last several years anyway. Too bad, it was unique.

kugrad 10 years, 10 months ago

Screw that. We have the highest sales tax here in the State of KS and one of the highest in the nation. People move here and are shocked at how high our sales tax is. We do not NEED a new library. Would it be nice? Sure, but we can't afford it. Those of us who are fiscally responsible in our personal lives routinely go without things we want because we cannot afford them. The City has yet to learn this discipline. Live within your means. Sorry Sue, the answer is no.

common_cents 10 years, 10 months ago

So I had to read this twice,

"We have to decide that the kind of things we want, the quality of life we want in this community are going to cost money,"

and then wondered, when did anything NOT cost money? With Sue as mayor do we now get to decide which things cost money? That has to be the dumbest statement I've ever read.

And when did WE get to decide what things we want? So far, much of what I've seen are things dictated to us under the guise that we "need" them to maintain our "quality of life."

Excuse me, but my life quailty is just fine, thank you. I don't use the city library, I avoid every round-a-bout of which I know, and I'm perfectly fine with the athletic fields we currently have. Granted, I'm a little ticked that Sport to Sport decided to kick out the childrens' futsal league in favor of the huge population of tennis players in the city. And, major infrastructure project are the ONLY thing of which I'd be in favor... BUT didn't they already tell us how much they were going to tax us in a different fashion to pay for those?

No more money for the Chamber either... they haven't brought very many good paying jobs to this city in a LONG time. Sure, if I want to answer a phone or stuff boxes, they "do me good," but that's not the kind of job I particular care to have.

No more taxes from you people - FIX YOUR FREAKIN' BUDGET.

SettingTheRecordStraight 10 years, 10 months ago

It's not a 1-cent tax. It's a 1 PERCENT tax increase. Please don't make it sound like it's just a penny.

Godot 10 years, 10 months ago

Make Dever the mayor! Time for a coup!

pelliott 10 years, 10 months ago

I could see taking a penny off the tax for economic development, that might help businesses. but adding a penny and calling it a library and economic development tax when is just another way for our taxes to pave for new development, ms Hack's reasoning seems spacious. Maybe if we charged $1100. for every new apartment or house built it would cover the cost of the the new library and economic development and ha ha be fair.

pelliott 10 years, 10 months ago

It isn't a quality of life tax, it is a economic development tax. It is not about a library, that is the dicker point, the sacrfice that must be made, the tax will be halved and the chamber will be responsible for creating enough economic development out of the development tax to pay for a library. We will get a library down the road, maybe if one of the developers dies and leaves it to us out of his millions made on our back. It is morning and I smell the coffee.

Boston_Charley 10 years, 10 months ago

An earlier post said "Let's leave within our means. . ." Was that a typo or advice to get out while the gettin's good?

perkins 10 years, 10 months ago

I doubt that anything is to be gained by namecalling or personal slurs, but I agree that Sue Hack's sales tax increase proposal is unwise. What in the world is wrong with the current library? Is it envy that Topeka has a fancier one? The current Lawrence library has a perfect location and serves my needs fine. Who cares if on occasion one must park a block away? And is there really such an urgent need for more and bigger meeting rooms as some would have us believe?

The Topeka library has a library board that has spent money at double the general rate of inflation the past few years despite Topeka's no-growth population. The library board president there gets prickly when confronted with suggestions for easing up on spending. Let's not let the librarians decide taxes; they'll say they need more and call it an investment rather than a tax. And they are the ones that did away with the card catalogues, leaving the elderly non-computer literates baffled and annoyed.

Mike Blur 10 years, 10 months ago

Amyx has been in favor of this tax from day one, and now with Chestnut and Dever on board, this is bound to go right on through.

Like it or lump it, this is what Lawrence voted for.

It's funny, if Boog had proposed this, he'd be excoriated as a tax-and-spend hippie liberal. But when Hack and Amyx propose this, it's deemed essential to Lawrence's "quality of life."

Chambercrats are back in charge at City Hall. Get used to it, Lawrence--this is only the beginning.

Keith 10 years, 10 months ago

Welcome to Lawrence. Sue, the answer is NO.

oilrag 10 years, 10 months ago

Hmmm... seems the folks of Lawrence wanted to rid the commission of "progressives" and their increased fees.

I'm with hitme... here's my two cents....

oilrag 10 years, 10 months ago

...and I bet Dever and Chesnut both vote in favor of the tax.

At least w/ this tax it is "less likely that property taxes had to increase in the future."

'Cause a 1 cent sales tax is going to balance our budget?!

And so it begins....

Remy 10 years, 10 months ago

I'm not opposed to sales tax increases to fund city services because it draws funds from the many visitors to our city. But, I don't discount Sunflower Bike Shop guy. Places like his and moreso stores like Blue Heron are hardest hit. You have to order and wait with them anyway, so why not buy online and avoid the tax? On a $4,000 couch (or hot tub or whatever), I'm thinking I'd save the $332.00 in tax and get it online. (and i won't be reporting the use tax either. hahaha, come and get me!)

Why can't we get all "progressive" and exempt food? Seems like common sense.

cowboy 10 years, 10 months ago

I'm with hitme

i have yet to hear from any past or present commisioner a single effing idea on how to cut city costs.

We dont need a new library , tell Mr. flanders to quit spending city money promoting his little dream library.

Improve the school ball fields for youth sports , building mega complexes makes little sense and are typically dominated by adult softball leagues.

Get your heads out of your a$$es and build the bypasses and get all the extra traffic off city streets

Stop subsidizing downtown lawrence , are we now going to buy sprinkler systems for every business in town ?

Make the T pay for itself , theres 1.5 million right there

Create a Lawrence endowment association so those that have made fortunes here can give back and fund the projects they choose

To put an additional tax on consumers is just out of the question . you will drive large ticket purchases out of town even more.

Live within your means Lawrence !

Fishman 10 years, 10 months ago

Another good reason to not shop in Lawrence, and shop online! Geesh, enough already. Pushing 10% is ridiculous.

KsTwister 10 years, 10 months ago

I knew before I read two sentences that the word library was coming up. Quality of life is not more taxpayers blood. We do not need your library/convention center as much as we need to attend to real tangible needs like keeping the levy stable so that life is not threatened. Lawrence has debt that needs to be addressed but adding more municipal construction should NOT be the reason to place Lawrence with the highest sales tax rate when it also has debt second only to Topeka. The things listed in the article are pipe dreams when the inclusion of this sales tax will guarantee that more people spend their money in KC or Topeka. We are not responsible for city hall not being able to operate within a budget. These are not revenue streams, when have libraries funded capital improvements. Recreation facilities for what the original outlay will take many many years for the payback. The city keeps raising your water rates and have for years to pay for streets and sewers and they are still short(probably due to a parking garage,the T and golf course among other things).

I am not paying for a monolith to the last commission.

tnt1985 10 years, 10 months ago

Where was talk of increasing taxes BEFORE the election? I'll be shopping in Olathe and using their crappy library. Don't fret people - this will never pass a general election, but I bet the powers that be will spend (waste) plenty of cash "educating" the voters beforehand. What a joke!

asphhauler 10 years, 10 months ago

You know this city is prety good about telling the people of Lawrence to buy local support local businesses what a joke the city of Lawrence should take its own advise, instead they hire a company from Salina to do the concrete work on Kasold why not hire some one from Lawrence. With that much said as far as buying anything here in Lawrence thats a big joke there is nothing in this town that I would want they have nothing that I need I buy out of town or on the internet all the time. Our city they put up malls in places that wont support them or in places that are imposible to get to but oh we had to give these places tax breaks so they would come here, ok where are they now we need those taxes back so we can fix our streets, hmm guess we should pull our heads out huh.

gccs14r 10 years, 10 months ago

You get the government you deserve. Shame on those of you who voted for these idiots and shame on those of you who didn't go vote. The local power brokers want to gentrify downtown, but they can't do that until they manage to drive off all the riff-raff (read that as all the cool little shops downtown). An 8.3% sales tax will do that.

Phillbert 10 years, 10 months ago

Of course we could raise sales taxes.

Or we could actually listen to the recent study that shows we need to create new revenue sources -- like impact fees on new development -- to pay for the costs of growth that taxpayers are otherwise going to get stuck with (while the developers laugh all the way to the bank.)

Study: Cost to expand city exceeds present revenue

But the new majority won't touch the developers, so we'll just raise sales taxes instead.

Elections have consequences.

monkeyhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

Ok, I'll bite.

If this proposal gains any steam, it will be put to a vote. I will vote no. But, I am glad to see something that distributes the weight evenly, and not just another tax increase for property owners. I am not nearly as jacked up as some of you about this.

I question what is happening behind the scenes regarding the toxic dump land that the commission doesn't seem to want to let go of. I would like to see a vote on that.

I would also like to see a complete audit of city hall. Perhaps the state would be willing to step in to see where our money is going. I would also like to know what has become of our rainy day fund. Why don't we have enough money in the budget to simply fix our streets? Isn't that what we pay for anyway? Or, is the revenue sucking library and the superdome somehow tied to getting basic city services?

Jamesaust 10 years, 10 months ago

I'll not agree with one dime for a rec complex.
Private enterprise has already demonstrated that users have shown this to be a luxury they do not value (how much less the non-users value it).

Sue: I vote every election - and every primary!

Wilbur_Nether 10 years, 10 months ago

Commissioner Hack raises some excellent points for community discussion: what sort of quality of life do we want here in Lawrence? On one hand, we criticize its economic development initiatives as inadequate to attract better, non-manufacturing jobs to the area. On the other hand, we fail to support the commission in creating the type of community that will attract the sorts of businesses we say we want.

I don't see this as a done deal so much as an opportunity for us to talk about what is important to us as a community, and what we are willing to do as a community to get those things.

altarego 10 years, 10 months ago

"As was pointed out by myself and others throughout the election, the reason your taxes are so high is because of the chambercrat govt. by cronyism that ran Lawrence for decades."

Exactly. You said nothing then, and you are saying nothing now. So if the turnout was low, and the handful of people who decided to spend a little time within earshot of your opportunity to clarify the issues didn't vote for your candidates, then it is YOUR fault. I will think of you whenever I pay the Hack tax.


KsTwister 10 years, 10 months ago

If you look at the city budget for 2007 you will find that for this year any money from sales tax reserve will go DIRECTLY into the Recreation Budget. This is a slight of hand and don't believe one minute that this will be used for streets or infrastructure. So was that 2007 change to move those reserves to fund Hack's special projects? You betcha. At least Amyx wanted to reduce our property taxes with the approval of a sales tax. But I don't where people will buy in Lawrence if this happens anyway. I would like to see Chestnut's opinion of this budget first though.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 10 months ago

That has to be one of the most absurdly stupid posts I've ever read on these boards, Altarego. And most posts on this board are absurdly stupid.

x96merrill3 10 years, 10 months ago

Is it possible that Sue is putting this out there to finally put an end to the Library expansion nonsense? She may actually bet getting what she wants with all this ballywho from you nay-sayers....from both sides of the "aisle". With enough outcries about tax increases, it's possible that the Nalbandian and the other bookworms will give up their battle to tax the people.

Incidentally, Log and others, Commissioner Highberger also favors a sales tax increase to fund a library. It's not a right wing/Left Wing notion.

Godot 10 years, 10 months ago

This is a non-starter. Dever and Chestnut ran on "needs vs. wants." They had better live up to their promises.

No new sales tax, no new amenities, no new "quality of life" expenditures until the necessities have been taken care of.

What we really need is a 10% across-the-board reduction in the city budget. If Hack and Amyx want a new library and a new ballfield for the wealthy who are too lazy to do their own private fundraising, they will just have to find the money within the existing stream of dollars.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 10 years, 10 months ago

"Is it possible that Sue is putting this out there to finally put an end to the Library expansion nonsense?"

No, if that was her intent, she could have just proposed that instead.

"This is a non-starter. Dever and Chestnut ran on "needs vs. wants.""

Yes, but whose "needs" did they run on? Remember where all their money came from? Who is going to get to build a brand new downtown library/mall?

OnlyTheOne 10 years, 10 months ago

Well, Baldwin City, Ottawa and Eudora aren't so far away that a vehicle getting reasonable fuel economy would still cost less than the 1% tax increase. So that's where we'll buy groceries. As for hard goods? There's always the Internet. Good by. So long. Fare thee well. We'll hopefully meet again after you come to your senses, Lawrence.

oldgoof 10 years, 10 months ago

WOW nothing like this kind of an article to wake up a bunch of people drinking a gallon of coffee. Funny.

EXks 10 years, 10 months ago

Go ahead you miserable grumps..... whine, cry and wring your hands over a proposed one cent tax increase, that just may increase the quality of life for your kids, families, and people who want a better Lawrence.

The voters will probably reject the proposal no less....BUT...... where is your outrage over BILLIONS of TAX dollars UNACCOUNTED for in Iraq?????

JohnBrown 10 years, 10 months ago

It would be okay if the tax was 1 cent on every sale-- regardless of how big the sale was. Hardly anyone would notice it, especially for big ticket items. But if it is truely a 1 cent/1 $ tax, it;s undoable, and's also existing business unfriendly given most shoppers have the internet to shop.

I agree with Marion too, eliminate the fees for the T.

Well Pilgrim, are you sure you 'know what isn't true' anymore?

Wilbur_Nether 10 years, 10 months ago

Godot wrote "No new sales tax, no new amenities, no new "quality of life" expenditures until the necessities have been taken care of." My question becomes "which necessities have not been taken care of?"

Godot's next sentence is "What we really need is a 10% across-the-board reduction in the city budget." Which causes me to wonder two more things: first, "why 10%--where did that figure come from?" and second (and more important), "if the city's budget is already too small for meeting its necessities, why would we cut from it?"

Rationalanimal 10 years, 10 months ago

Wow, the vision! the creativity! A tax hike. The only thing creative about this proposal is it being couched as a quality of life tax. Yes, Sue-the-Hack this is a quality of life tax. All taxes are. What you have wrong is that taxes dimish quality of life, they don't increase it.

[Ms. Hack's] view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it. If it keeps moving, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it. (Ronald Reagan)

Godot 10 years, 10 months ago

Wilbur_nether, streets and curbs are not repaired, the sewers still have not been fixed (nor funded); the sidewalks are a mess (and no one seems to expect the property owners to fix them), the trafficway has not been funded, we need more police, the empT needs new vehicles, North Lawrence needs a major infrastructure overhaul...this is just a start.

A 10% budget cut is just a start; If they can't do even that much, then they are not even trying.

Godot 10 years, 10 months ago

This PLAY thing stinks. They organized for the sole purpose of lobbying the city for money for their pet project. They didn't even make a show of trying to raise their own money.

Steve Mechels 10 years, 10 months ago

Wow; I love this town and have only lived here for a little over a year. Not sure I can afford to stay...

Godot 10 years, 10 months ago

13 million a year for 10 years; gee that comes awful close to the estimates of the cost of the original downtown redevelopment proposals.

justthefacts 10 years, 10 months ago

I did not vote for Hack. This is why. Did she mention this plan while running? Of course not. Who ever gets elected saying "I will hike up your tax burden."?

Read my lips city, county, state and country law makers; We the middle class tax payers are about to do an "Atlas Shrugged" on all of society.

We are paying more in taxes all the time, and it is being spent for things that we do not want or need for ourselves. We can barely afford necessities, let alone luxuries. And still you ask us to shoulder more financial burdens for the wish lists of others. Enough already.

You want more libraries? Pay for them yourselves. Or cut costs somewhere else to increase funding in that area!

Learn to live with the money you are getting. Like any family, you must realize that you cannot keep spending money like it is being minted in your basement. Cut costs, live within your/our means. Or be prepared for the chaos and anarchy that will naturally follow from continually ignoring the complaints of those who bear the largest burdens.

Kontum1972 10 years, 10 months ago

Dear Madame Mayor....i got your tax!

BILLIONS of TAX dollars UNACCOUNTED for in Iraq?????

ask BUSH and all his they know!

rhd99 10 years, 10 months ago

Please tell me if I am wrong, but didn't we try this before? Seems to me the Commiss is on course for repeating the mistakes of the past. Been nice knowing you, Sue! Kiss your re-election goodbye!

justthefacts 10 years, 10 months ago

This is a no win situation for politicians who want to see certain pet projects move forward - without cutting into some other projects funding....

While acknowledging that sales taxes hit the poor hardest, they can't raise property taxes because of "people on fixed incomes." Like those people don't have to buy milk and clothing. ...... Not to mention the fact that adding to real estate taxes just makes the current mortgage problems worse.

But I always think it's funny how such politicians often end up screwing the poor and the old for all their pet projects, two groups that never seem to learn or get treated better.

I'm pretty sure it won't be the poor or the old who use the public library in proportion to the taxes they pay for it.

Jace 10 years, 10 months ago

I wish I knew what Sue Hack looked liked 30 years ago.

I bet she was very pretty. I mean, she still is, mind you.....but I'm curious to know what she looked like "way back when".

Godot 10 years, 10 months ago

"The last time local voters approved a new sales tax was in 1994, when they passed a countywide 1-cent sales tax to fund a new jail, health department building, property tax relief and parks and recreation projects.

Unlike that sales tax, which is perpetual, Hack said this one should be written in a way that it automatically will expire after 10 years, unless voters approve it again at the end of 10 years."


This is not true. The voters were told in 1994 that the tax would expire when the bonds were paid off. The bonds were recently paid off, and the city commissioners were faced with the moral dilemma of doing as the taxpayers expected, to retire the tax, or to just keep collecting the tax. They chose to continue the tax rather than sunset it. They even had the gall to call it a "windfall."

So, with this proposed extra 1% tax, the city will be playing with an extra 2% levy on everything we purchase in Lawrence. This is 30% more LEVY than they had prior to 1994.

On what projects did the commission decide to spend that 1% that was supposed to go away? It was a special assessment for parks and rec and jails, and now it is just a part of the general operating budget. PERPETUAL.

Maybe they will use that "windfall 1% to "educate" us on the need for the additional 1% tax.

rhd99 10 years, 10 months ago

Hey, how about the City's Department executives pay for this new tax! Seems to me these fat cats need to go on a budgetary diet without compromising basic city services we all pay for. By budgetary diet, I am talking about city official vehicles. By the way, are city official vehicles being used for other than official business? If so, time to cut back.

Wilbur_Nether 10 years, 10 months ago

Godot noted the following needs that are underfunded in Lawrence today: "streets and curbs are not repaired, the sewers still have not been fixed (nor funded); the sidewalks are a mess (and no one seems to expect the property owners to fix them), the trafficway has not been funded, we need more police, the empT needs new vehicles, North Lawrence needs a major infrastructure overhaul...this is just a start."

Godot then suggested cutting the city's budget by 10%. If the city is struggling so much to accomplish these necessities, cutting its budget seems like it would make these problems worse...not better....

Hoots 10 years, 10 months ago

We already have a tax that is supposed to do this very thing. The taxpayers of Lawrence voted it in several years ago. This tax did not have a sunset clause and people voted for it anyway. This tax was billed as a savings account that we would use to purchase projects with as the money piled up. With typical government spending practices this did not happen and they have that tax spent for many years in the future. Once again government wasted our money. They will do the same with this tax and will want even more down the road. If local, state, and federal government doesn't learn to live within limits we are all going to be in real trouble down the road. This kind of spending can't last.

Ragingbear 10 years, 10 months ago

I am more for elimination of government waste (Cough cough....consultant fees...cough cough) than an increase in sales tax. I am on a fixed income, and I need to save every dollar. It wouldn't be so bad if we truly needed the money, but when we spend 2 million a year on consultants to tell us the same stuff over and over, then all I see is people stepping over dollars to pick up pennies.

Ragingbear 10 years, 10 months ago

Hmm. Let me see here. Figuring that there are roughly 100,000 people that would be affected, with an average monthly income of $1100.. But probably only half of that would actually be affected by the sales tax... Roughly $55,000 a month of city income, or $660,000 a year. That is with very liberal estimates. Or in other words, in 1 year, we will get enough money to produce 1 round-a-bout.

I still stick with the elimination of consulting fees. Perhaps the commissioners should put buckets up around town and stand by them and ring bells. Would be more effective.

rhd99 10 years, 10 months ago

Oh, yeah, thanks ragingbear, how Lawrence continually WASTES money on consultants & STUDIES! Where has that gotten us? NO WHERE!

HMcMellon 10 years, 10 months ago

"What in the world is wrong with the current library? Is it envy that Topeka has a fancier one? The current Lawrence library has a perfect location and serves my needs fine."

You all are missing the point. The purpose of building a new library is put more of our tax dollars in the pockets of contractors of all sorts. That is why the construction community put so much money up to elect Dever and Chestnut. That is why so many realtors, developers, plumbers, electricians and other contractors voted for these guys. They want our tax dollars in their pockets.

And don't think for a minute that these tax and spenders will limit tax increases to sales tax. The last time these developer shills got control of the City Commission, our property taxes skyrocketed, primarily because of the hidden tax of the City raising appraised valuations to suck more money out of us to pay for all the costs that the tax and spenders created by not making developers pay their own way.

The Flamboyant Four on our new City Commission desperately want to raise our taxes, both sales tax and property tax. They need our taxes not only for a new library, but to give out as tax abatements and to help the developers by forcing the City to "share the burden" of development costs.

They need our higher taxes for more roads, more traffic lights, more intersections, extended sewer lines, extended water lines, a new sewer plant, more police, more firemen, etc. The list is endless. Those who pushed for Dever and Chestnut are already waiting like pigs at a trough for their fair share of our tax dollars.

It is essential that Hack, Amyx, Dever and Chestnut raise our taxes to subsidize more sprawl. Without our tax dollars to cover more of the costs, the developers would have a hard time pricing their crap so commuters can afford to move here.

Without more commuters, what would we do? That would mean less traffic on our roads. If we have less traffic, we won't have a reason to spend more money on widening them and extending them and building new fancy highways to JOCO so that the commuters can save a few minutes on their commute.

You see, folks, higher taxes is what this past election was all about. You didn't want to believe it, so you voted for Dever and Chestnut. Now, you will have to deal with not only higher taxes, but also more traffic, more construction delays and more commuters.

Congratulations to all the fools who voted for these tax and spenders. Congratulations to all the developers and contractors who will get even richer on our tax dollars now that their shills have control of the City Commission.

preservation 10 years, 10 months ago

I'm all for making tax increases, how about we adjust property tax so that our homes and the neighborhoods pay for themselves. I don't see why I want my taxes going to pay for those old houses on Old west Lawrence to have old sewers, roads, and power. And why should I pay for those gawdy and cheap apartments growing up like dandilions? Let the owners pay for their own infrastructure!

Ragingbear 10 years, 10 months ago

logrithmic, most "businesses" get massive tax breaks in this city. Even if you do figure in taxes that could potentially be generated by businesses, you would be able to make 3 round-a-bouts in the city instead of just 1.

I still maintain that the budget will generate more money by eliminating consulting fees.

rhd99 10 years, 10 months ago

For the price of a ROUNDABOUT, Sue Hack can cough up the tax money herself! STOP FUNDING ROUNDABOUTS, Sue Hack!

monkeyhawk 10 years, 10 months ago

I actually went to the library yesterday. I think it was the second time in ten years. The first time was for a meeting. Yesterday was to donate to the book sale. I had my pick of many parking spaces in the lot right across from the door. I was in there briefly, but noticed that most of the patrons had big backpacks. It seems like a nice building, and more than accommodated the few people there. While other cities are closing their libraries, Lawrence wants to build a $30,000,000 one. People don't go to libraries as they once did. The library thing is a sham, and designed to renovate downtown at the citizens' expense.

It is past time to look at all the city departments and cut the fat. Sell off all those city owned properties. Fire the bozo business czar, and stop funding the do nothing chamber. Most of us are fed up to our eyeballs with the big squeeze.

How is the city going to finance the purchase of Farmland? I'm sure we won't get to vote on that one, and you can bet some in the city are chomping at the bit to get that deal done.

rhd99 10 years, 10 months ago

I think we all can agree with this: All talk & no action, pretty shameful for a group of five individuals who CALL themselves city leaders here in Lawrence. Whether you're democrat, republican, poor, rich, for business, against business, this tax by Sue Hack is a sham. Are the library improvements going to happen? NO. City Commission leaders now & in the past NEVER could learn the lessons of SLT, which by the way is a sham all by itself. Stand up folks & let's be heard!

rhd99 10 years, 10 months ago

No it is not too late, log. That attitude you're taking is partly why politicians get their way all the time. It's time to slam these politicians' policies & hold them to account.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 10 months ago

Housing prices and values are dropping as we speak which may be the motivation behind the 1% sales tax increase that Amyx and now Hack have proposed. Lower property values = less property tax revenues. There is a glut of single family homes and multuple family dwellings on the market at the moment. Remember when many were saying if we stop building housing prices would inflate to astronomic values. The building continued, values inflated through the roof even for new slums and so did our property tax bills.

Quality of life is Lawrence without 250,000 people that real estate/developers have on their minds. This I find a bit odd when so many of them have lived here so long WITHOUT all of those people. Now all of a sudden 175,000 more people superdomes, convention centers,traffic problems,dowtown violence, shopping centers that are going out of style elsewhere and thousands of new homes will improve our quality of life. How may I ask ? Cost of Community Services increasing because of all the new construction is not good for most peoples quality of life.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 10 months ago

For every suburban big box and urban freeway, there lies an empty main street and a crumbling neighborhood. This is sprawl's legacy. But by seeing these old buildings, once-vibrant neighborhoods, underused strip centers and vacant parking lots for the valuable assets that they are, flagging economies can be revived.

Sprawl and the Preservation-Revitalization Connection We lose more than beautiful buildings from sprawl. We also lose the community character that makes each place unique. This character, made up of the architecture, people, and landscape of a particular place, offer regions some of the best opportunities for economic development. Many of the most impressive examples of revitalization around the country, whether urban downtowns or rural Main Streets, have had the preservation of historic architecture and character at their core.

Giant Sucking Sound Sprawl drains resources away from existing communities. Sprawl's transformation of the American landscape has led to declining cities and inner suburbs, while imposing daunting new infrastructure and public service costs on suburban communities. Many inner suburban communities are suffering from the same neglect and disinvestment as their urban neighbors. Even suburban jurisdictions on the metropolitan fringe are not immune from sprawl's pernicious effects on their economy. Because rapid residential growth often fails to pay for itself, many local officials feel forced to accept any commercial development in whatever form it comes typically, cookie cutter shopping centers and big-box stores. These patterns lead to the same problems increasing traffic, marginal services, lack of open space and rising taxes that many residents tried to leave behind.

Preservation-based Revitalization While cities pay consultants thousands of dollars to come up with the Next Big Thing (usually with a huge government subsidy attached), some creative communities have realized that their best assets are what drew them to the place originally. Historic architecture, diverse neighborhoods, and scenic vistas are just a few of the assets that can be built upon for successful and long-term economic revitalization.

Main Street Inc. Few places are as hallowed in the American psyche as the classic Main Street. With its human scale architecture of retail shops, offices and apartments above, and wide sidewalks, these places represent some of what is best about American town building. With many suburban-style, generic malls falling out of favor with consumers and developers alike , the people are returning to Main Street for shopping, strolling or just to find a peaceful place to people-watch.

rhd99 10 years, 10 months ago

Then why are people like HACK telling us that falling housing prices are not good for the economy? Where was she when they taught economics? Lower housing prices = more affordable housing. HELLO?!

Richard Heckler 10 years, 10 months ago

Becoming the most expensive city in Kansas to live may not encourage new home buyers in spite of dropping prices and property values.

Will property values be dropped if tax revenue becomes a problem?

Centrist 10 years, 10 months ago

We don't NEED a new library!

We don't NEED even MORE EMPTY business parks!

What we NEED is to FIX the ROADS.

What we NEED is to REDUCE property taxes in this over-inflated city of Larryville.

What we NEED is to REDUCE the tax burden, not INCREASE it.

Bad enough that there's talk of Lawrence supporting KU, a STATE institution.

WTF is wrong with these people ...

Godot 10 years, 10 months ago

Logrithmic wrote: "Taxes on food and medicine. Oh what a great idea from the chamberpot of commerce and its slate of candidates: Hack, Amyx, Chestnut and Dever. Oh yes!!!"

She/he/it conveniently overlooks the fact that Chestnut and Dever have not stated their position on this yet, but that Highberger has already stated that he supports such a sales tax.

Even if Chestnut and Dever were to oppose this tax proposal, it will end up on the ballot anyway because Highberger, Amyx and Hack have already voiced their support.

average 10 years, 10 months ago

The pedestrian mall idea is pretty lousy, even where it has been somewhat successful. I may hate cars, but they lend a 'busy' character to the street that works. The middle of Pearl Street is a quiet, boring park, not an active, bustling downtown. Mass St. was designed around horses and streetcars. There are not enough people or businesses to make it feel "full" as a mall. Parks are parks, business is active and commercial, let's not get the two confused.

For parking, eliminate meters and permits, perhaps, but continue to chalk tires and enforce a two (or 3)-hour limit on lots between NH and Vt and the lower levels of the garage. Having every close spot taken by office workers (city employees, etc) repels visitors to downtown.

Free the T, okay, but enforce rules that discourage the homeless taking up residence on the bus.

Full-time mayor... it's time.

Wish the city could do something about grocery/Rx taxes, but not in our ballpark.

average 10 years, 10 months ago

Also, roundabouts and traffic calming measures are not necessarily nonsense. They are accepted, tested, and functional pieces in a road network.

However, many of the specific installations have sucked. The "circles" south of campus are too small and non-standard (Roundabout rules, 2-way stop, four-way stop? Each exists.) The traffic islands that turn a road wide enough for a car to pass a bicyclist into a road where drivers are forced to weave to the right... those really suck. Roundabouts on major thoroughfares (Clinton Parkway) suck... as a pedestrian and slow driver, I want all the speeders and through traffic to prefer a few routes I can avoid.

Conversely, 19th and Barker is a major improvement, as are many of the roundabouts west of Kasold.

Many stoplight decisions have sucked, too. Should we get to vote on every turning lane that is added?

altarego 10 years, 10 months ago

Bozo: "That has to be one of the most absurdly stupid posts I've ever read on these boards, Altarego. And most posts on this board are absurdly stupid."

Thanks. Coming from you that is high praise.

Tony Kisner 10 years, 10 months ago

I think the message is if you want it, you need to pay for it.

The proposal is to put the tax up for a public vote. I'd say a defeat would be a message that the public is concerned about how much it's taxed. Seems fair - fairly direct democracy.

Godot 10 years, 10 months ago

log wrote: " didn't know there were any roundabouts on major throughfares. Please point to a few."

19th, Clinton Parkway, Harvard, Monterrey way, and, currently under construction, Kasold.

average 10 years, 10 months ago

logarithmic -

There's only the one example in Lawrence of a roundabout on a major thoroughfare... that's on the west end of Clinton Parkway. That was a mistake, as would be one on Iowa, 6th, 31st, Waky or North 2nd. The proposed ones on North Kasold come close to violating that principle if development up there continues and eventually crosses the turnpike.

Stephen Prue 10 years, 10 months ago

as i have told my children "if you need a raise in pay, lower your standard of living" it works every time. but doing with less is seen as a step back, i like to call it simplifing. i understand the issue is somwhat complex but you never hear any talk from the city's talking heads of reducing waste in city government and i just can't believe there isn't any fat to cut. how about a good old fashion top to bottom audit.

average 10 years, 10 months ago

Again, I hate the islands on Barker. I bicycle down the length of Barker regularly. There is otherwise enough room that I stayed right and drivers slowly overtook me when there was no opposing traffic. Now, drivers have to overtake me between islands, so they misjudge, have to slow way down, get pissy, honk and cuss, then floor it just past the island, opposing traffic or pedestrians be damned, to pass me before the next island. I'm not exaggerating. This has made Barker a much more dangerous road for me. Anymore, I usually take Learnard and go under the bridge, but often have to wait a very long time to cross 19th with no sign or roundabout.

ToriFreak13 10 years, 10 months ago

you all really need to stop whining about a tax half of you wont even pay....stop flooding this forum with your lies and i stated 99% of you are breaking the law every year as it stands.....if you buy something online and dont pay a are LEGALLY REQUIRED TO SELF REPORT THAT ITEM AND SUBMIT THE TAX MONEY TO THE STATE OF KANSAS!!!! There are many reasons why this isnt enforced but I wish it were...would shut a lot of you up and send you back to the states you came from......which leads to another point....if you lazy bums cant donate another penny out of your pockets to this great city you call home...GET THE F have NO clue about I dont believe we need a $30 mil new library....yes we do need another parking garage downtown.....this tax isnt written in stone and the library isnt either.....but anything we plan to do to this city in the future is going to cost money and this sales tax is the most fair LOGICAL tax solution....why should people that have bought a house and chosen to call Lawrence home keep being penalized????? it ends with this commission. Pay another penny or gtfo. Those that comment this attacks the poor lol....#1 a large % of the poor are getting their money from who??? #2 and they are what you say they are they wont be spending any more or less money as it is....this will make everyone that shops in this town help support it....not just Lawrencians....DUH think you are a genius? its 1 cent exactly what it says...not 1% do the reverse math for crying out loud.

monkeyhawk....ok go read what you dont support this but you believe its more fair than property if we cant have property taxes go up....and cant have sales taxes go up....what is the solution?

Marion? taxing cigarettes and liquor? holy hell cmon and requiring businesses to register? lol you going to start reporting all that ebay income?

average 10 years, 10 months ago

No, not on the sidewalks. Questionably legal, and verifiably suicidal. I'd advise you to check out "Effective Cycling" by John Forester for the numbers, but the public library apparently doesn't have room or interest to get such important books. I go 20-25 miles an hour, obeying traffic laws. Slowing down for sidewalk obstructions and stopping for every crossroad (since drivers aren't looking for 25mph traffic down sidewalks) would easily quadruple the time it takes to get around and be much less safe.

The Kasold plans are three roundabouts from Peterson Road up to the turnpike bridge. There is not very heavy traffic yet, but there may be if the new commission blesses several thousand more units that direction.

Godot 10 years, 10 months ago

"ok go read what you dont support this but you believe its more fair than property if we cant have property taxes go up....and cant have sales taxes go up....what is the solution?"

Stop spending money on qualify of life projects until you have grown your tax base to generate enough taxes to cover the "needs" with cash left over for the "wants." And, by growing the tax base, I do not mean taxing the existing base more.

Janet Lowther 10 years, 10 months ago

Another cent of sales tax will cause me to do a lot more of my shopping in Topeka, since I'm there five days a week anyway.

The sales tax is already way too high, particularly considering this state has an income tax as well.

Texas has no income tax and sales taxes can not exceed 8.25% (and in most places is less.) Adding yet another cent of sales tax will put Lawrence's already excessive sales tax higher than is allowed in Texas, where there is no income tax.

Texas further exempts many products from sales tax which are not exempted here, for example most groceries are not subject to the Texas sales tax.

Just forget about increasing sales tax.

Don't forget, property tax is deductible from federal taxes, and therefore costs medium income taxpayers only $0.75 on the dollar.

Yes, the property tax is unpopular 'cause it is collected in one large lump. Get over it.

KSChick1 10 years, 10 months ago

"Pass an earnings tax on alll KU emloyees" yadda yadda yadda

your idea is about as great as your spelling

I already pay taxes on my earnings from KU-it's called INCOME TAX.

We're already below private sector wages. Why in the freakin' world would you suggest an earnings tax on us?

Why don't you suggest an earnings tax at your own place of employment?

KsTwister 10 years, 10 months ago

Good one! your right about that chicklet !

I don't think too many new cars will be sold in Douglas County, or anything else that will cost less drive out of it - even groceries. So much for being #1 (highest in the state).

But in the end you'll get this nice glass library in a state with tornados.

Crispian Paul 10 years, 10 months ago

In countries where taxes are higher, educational systems are more equitable, everyone has healthcare, overall health is better, preventative care is better, the governement pays for vacation time off with the understanding that a happy employee is a more productive one.....the list goes on and on.

This country may have to step up and realize that the concept of lower taxes and social health do not go together.

You may complain "I don't want to pay for Joe Schmoe to have healthcare...I should keep my money"....keep in mind the social costs of lack of access to good healthcare, good public schooling, etc....more crime, a "culture" of poverty, increased hopelessness which may lead to drug and alcohol problems. Again, the list goes on and on.

Now you may say "Why don't you opt to pay higher taxes, Crispian?" However, as a social worker and single person, I actually pay more than 30% of my gross income in taxes. The average wealthy person in the US? Usually about 10% of their gross income. WTF???

Lifelong_Lawrencian 10 years, 10 months ago

So she is basically saying that we need a tax increase because of the anemic increase in property values and the low income from sales taxes. So while we're at it, why throw in some extra for some more cool stuff for Lawrence like libraries and rec centers.


Tighten your belts first. If we then still need a tax hike then okay. But I hate this idea that there will be a 10 year sunset. The sun still hasn't set on the last tax hike and anyone who buys the idea that this one is going to go away in ten years is crazy! I would rather see an increase in mill levy.

We have not yet hit bottom on property values. If this year was only a 3% increase, I'll bet next year will be 0%. We also have to contend with repairs on the levy, which could cost us over $100,000,000. We may be faced with more tax increases over the next couple of years. This is no time to be spending money on more amenities. Let's see if we can fullfill some campaign promises first and improve our city's income stream.

Godot 10 years, 10 months ago

Increasing the tax from 7.3% to 8.3% is not really a one per-cent increase. It means our sales tax is increasing by 13.7%.

white_mountain 10 years, 10 months ago

There are still some families out there that can afford their own health insurance.

Obviously taxes aren't high enough yet.

ilovelucy 10 years, 10 months ago

Log: I nominate you the supreme champion whiner! Thanks alot-keep it up. Lucy

KsTwister 10 years, 10 months ago

Darn, I lost two studies but I have $1.7million in others, will that do-2006 &2007? At least until I find the two I really want.

Richard Heckler 10 years, 10 months ago

The poor will pay more. For what will they pay more?
Well,one thing she is proposing is to build a sports complex that has been pushed by her pal and banker Bonnie Augustine (that's her former name but I am not certain what her current married name is). The complex will not be built on the east side of Lawrence for the less affluent kids. It is intended for the kids of the more affluent west side families.

Also, keeping the tax off of property will take the burden off of the expensive homes and commercial real estate.

Funding infrastructure maintenance and repair, building a library, and a sports complex will fall disproportionately on the middle and low income citizens. The builders, developers, realtors, and bankers have to love this proposal. They can collect money for their projects from the poorest of the poor at the supermarket, the clothing store, and at other retail outlets where people buy the necessity of life.

Imagine this: we are losing sales tax revenue through an exemption on new equipment and moving a football game to Arrowhead Stadium. We don't know what the crash in the housing market will do to property taxes. Who do we turn to for picking up the slack? The middle class and the poor.

Lifelong_Lawrencian 10 years, 10 months ago


The current debt is close to 8.9 trillion. Bush's own budget (which was ridiculously rosey) estimated it would be over 11 trillion by the end of his term. Before he came into office it was 5.6 trillion. This is thanks to huge entitlements (normally blamed on dems) like his 53 Billion dollar Medicare drug program that prevents medicare from negotiating prices. The dems have tried to change this legislation, but Bush has threatened to veto it if they do. Instead of tax and spend, the right likes to reduce taxes and spend more.

Godot 10 years, 10 months ago

A penny here, a penny there. Who cares?

rhd99 10 years, 10 months ago

Let's get something straight here, folks. Those of you belly-aching about taxes & blaming US here on this board, take note: WE DO NOT like higher taxes any better than the next person down the block! The reality is that one like SUE HACK who wants more taxes never got the hint, did they?! Hack herself cannot comprehend that the lower the tax rate, the more affordable housing can be in Lawrence. The more affordable the housing, the better Lawrence will be. Right? Don't we all want affordable housing here?

Godot 10 years, 10 months ago

My house was affordable when I bought it; now the increases in taxes are putting my house on the road to being unaffordable.

Prospective homebuyers should factor in the future increases in property taxes compared to the reasonably expected increase in their income when they decide on an "affordable" price. My guess is that property taxes have increased at a higher rate than average incomes have in Lawrence.

And, now, we all get to pay more for everything we buy, as well.

No big deal. It is worth a better quality of life, right?

johnadavies 10 years, 10 months ago

It seems everyone has beat me to saying most of what I was going to say. I love libraries but feel the same as most of the people writing in; unless the new library is going to be luxury housing for the homeless (in which case I'll quit my job and move right in) there is absolutely no reason for it. One or two new branches in already existing locations would more than serve the need. If the head of the library board or the head librarian don't like it then they should both go elsewhere! There is nothing good or fair about a 1% sales tax and it would effect people who don't have much far more than those who do! How about a luxury tax on big SUV's and boats; sounds much or fair to me anyway!

shockchalk 10 years, 10 months ago

The only one who is getting laughed at is you are the supreme, pathetic, whiner. I second the nomination.

altarego 10 years, 10 months ago

"City Commissioner Sue Hack - who is expected to be elected mayor at tonight's commission meeting - plans to lobby for a new citywide 1-cent sales tax"

The semantical habit of saying one cent rather than 1% clarifies that you are discussing 1% of one dollar. Otherwise it may be assumed that you are talking about a percentage of the current tax rate.

Now for the language, adding a new one cent (1% of one dollar) tax to the existing sales tax is not the same as increasing the sales tax by 1%.

Semantics make all the differnce with dese here fancy numbers on both sides of town. The existing sales tax is 7.3%. "Adding" 1% (of one dollar) gives you 8.3%. The sales tax is thereby "increased by" 13.7% (of the current sales tax) as stated above.

Increasing the sales tax by 1% yields a sales tax of 7.37%.

.073 * 1.01 = 0.07373

Adding a one cent sales tax yields 8.3%.

.073 + .01 = 8.3

I suppose you could say that you are increasing the sales by 1% and assume people understand you are ADDING 1% OF ONE DOLLAR, but you would be wrong, so don't.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.