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Archive for Thursday, April 26, 2007

Tax burden

April 26, 2007

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To the editor:

My hat goes off to Barbara Paris for the true problems that this city has. We do not need a new library, skating rink or more parks; enough is enough! Why can't the city do with what we have instead of always wanting everything that we can do without. The city needs to maintain what we have like streets, curbs, parks, etc. before thinking of more recreation centers. Spend within our means, and the budget will be balanced.

Have you ever tried living on a fixed income? In 1999-2006 senior citizens received 1 percent increases on Social Security; taxes went up 3.5 percent plus Medicare went up. Can you tell me how someone on a fixed income can survive these increases?

Never have I read in the paper how the city could help senior citizens by lowing their taxes. Now the city is talking of raising taxes or sales tax again. Tell us seniors how we can balance our budget with all these tax increases that are being discussed.

I don't think the city can, as they cannot balance their own budget.

Darlene Miller,

Lawrence

Comments

Richard Heckler 7 years, 8 months ago

The question becomes after 20 years of expanding our tax base why the need for increased taxes? What did not work?

Taxpayers should be demanding a substantial Cost of Community Services Study to determine what areas of growth are NOT paying off. My guess is over building in retail and residential. If that were the case the focus should turn to higher wages and light industrial development.

Too much retail = economic displacement NOT economic development.

What is economic displacement? http://www.sprawl-busters.com/caseagainstsprawl.html

There are other sources for describing economic displacement as well.

commuter 7 years, 8 months ago

Merrill:

Could the increase in social services and cool traffic calming devices be a part of the problem?

How much does the city have to spend on flowers for downtown, pay DLI, give money to the arts center, build roundabouts, build traffic calming devices and build traffic circles.

It is not all about growth. When commissioners and school board members try to implement things that are different or in style at the time, it costs money but it costs more money to replaced those things when they go out of style.

For example, When South, Broken Arrow and Deerfield were built, it was supposed to be the new style. Now we are spending a heck of a lot of money to replace South due to the building. I will bet in a few years the school board will suggest we need to replace Broken Arrow and Deerfield too.

Building roundabaout, traffic circles, and traffic calming devices costs more money than a stop signs.

Since Lawrence is "over built in retail and residential" by your standards. Please answer me this questions, who is going to tell people where to live in Lawrence? You Richard? Are you going to start to tell me where to shop also? We have too many grocery stores in Lawrence by my opinion, do I get to decide where everyone gets to shop besides not shopping at certain stores? Or do you? Please let me know, I try not to tell people where to shop and live, but that is just my way of thinking. I understand it is not yours.

bluerose 7 years, 8 months ago

what an excellent article. thank you for posting the link.

too many people are not understanding that the excesses of the late 20th century are just not going to work in the 21st century. it is essential to cut back, simplify, downsize - take good care of the things we have, especially our people. buying more and making bigger is not the answer. on any level.

""Sprawl" is defined by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as "poorly planned, low-density, auto-oriented development that spreads out from the center of communities." It creates that doughnut effect in some cities where acrylic and asphalt suburban shopping malls form a ring around the dead center, where the old downtown sits decaying."

look in the mirror, Lawrence KS.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 8 months ago

There is not a NEED to increase taxes, Merrill. There is a desire to increase taxes from liberals like you who want the government to do absolutely everything for society.

I don't know what you do for a living but my guess is that you're not an entrepreneur, creator, inventor or innovator. You're a taker. You're a leech. You're a wealth re-distributor. Children read about people like you in their history books. People like Stalin, Castro, Lenin, Gorbachev, Guevara, Mussolini, and Chavez.

Government and its blood-thirst for taxes is a broken system that needs to get out of our lives.

Jamesaust 7 years, 8 months ago

So, the author thinks the city has misplaced focus and spends too much? Or, just that her personal taxes are too high?

All I get from this letter is if she was exempt from paying her fair share of taxes, she'd be happy to show up at the polls and vote for every boondoggle anyone could dream up.

No, no - you approve the spending, you pay the taxes.

KsTwister 7 years, 8 months ago

"So, the author thinks the city has misplaced focus and spends too much? Or, just that her personal taxes are too high?"

This is correct for every person living in Lawrence!!!

Jamesaust 7 years, 8 months ago

Record -- Do Americans demand too much from government?

Until one determines the amount of spending demanded, one cannot say what level of taxation is necessary. (And besides, taxes/spending for "Americans" is quite different from "Kansans." In Kansas, we are required to balance our budget annually; in Washington, they print funnymoney.)

Unfortunately (and I shouldn't have to explain this TO REPUBLICANS!) by disconnecting the receipt of government expenditures from the taxes necessary to pay for those expenditures, government creates the illusion that Government (in the abstract) is less expensive than it truly is, and the public then, following 'market' incentives, demand more of it.

Allowing one class of persons - senior citizens - to, one hand, vote for spending programs but, on the other hand, not have to pay for them, is a recipie for a taxation debacle.

The silly "PLAY" rec center is a perfect example of disconnecting the receipt of government services from paying for them. Proponents' goal is to hide the costs within the general tax burden - leading to ever more letters like this one of exasperated people who know only that their taxes are high. Rather, such a center if built should be a "toll" facility - users so pay at the door for operations cost and to pay off any money borrowed.

Of course, if I'm right (and I always am), an insufficient number of people are willing to pay for this and the entire scheme is one to force uninterested persons to foot the bill for the few that are interested.

Hoots 7 years, 8 months ago

I'm sick of people here blaming growth for all our problems. In the past several years we have dumped truckloads of cash into roundabouts, parks, fancy city vehicles, studies that get thrown out, fancy new city buildings, art installations, the T that doesn't pay for itself, a golfcourse that doesn't either, and the list goes much further. This city didn't spend money so far into the future like we do now. Meanwhile city streets and basic service suffers. Blame poor government money management. This I've got mine but you can't have yours crap doesn't fly. I just love it when people who have lived here for a year or two want to complain about growth. Hey people you are growth. I was born here but I was still growth.

You know what the difference between a Developer and an Environmentalist is? A Developer want to build a house in the woods and the Environmentalist already has a house in the woods. If you don't want more people then stop having babies and support immigration reform. We are all in this together. Just because you live in an older part of town doesn't mean you have less impact. If anything the people in the newer part of town are probably going to fit the bill for you new streets, water lines, and crumbled sewer lines. Your home is most likely less energy and water efficient so you are using more energy and thus have a larger carbon footprint. Give it a break.

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