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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

University towns could see higher taxes

March 29, 2007

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— Living in a county with a public university, such as Douglas County, could mean higher taxes under a plan proposed by House Republican leaders Wednesday.

Under House Bill 2593, counties that are home to regents universities would be allowed to increase the sales tax by one-tenth of one cent to help finance repairs and maintenance at the institutions.

The tax increases would be decided by county commissioners and there are no provisions for voter approval or protest. In Lawrence, a one-tenth of a cent increase in the sales tax would bring the levy to 7.4 cents per $1.

In Douglas County, the reaction from two local leaders could be summed up in two words: "No way."

Lawrence Mayor Mike Amyx said he didn't think applying a local tax unevenly across the state was the way to pay for something that should be the state's responsibility.

"It should not be allowed to stand," he said. "I think we should use whatever means possible to make sure this doesn't happen."

Said County Commissioner Jere McElhaney, "The Legislature and governor have a history of passing mandates down to local government where they have to pick up the tab ... If they want us to take over the regents universities in our particular area, we can sure do it, and I think we can do a better job than what they can."

Bill sponsors said the plan also would allow for a property tax increase, although the language for that was not in the draft legislation.

The bill also would increase tuition for nonresident students and prohibit schools, such as Kansas University, from dedicating portions of general tuition increases to providing student financial aid.

In addition, it would allocate $75 million over five years and make $300 million available for low-interest loans to regents schools and community colleges.

House Appropriations Committee Chairwoman Sharon Schwartz, R-Washington, said the measure represented a good starting point of discussion to try to fix maintenance problems at higher education institutions.

"We may need to tweak some things, but at the same time I feel this at least is a step in the right direction to try to address the issue of deferred maintenance," Schwartz said.

Universities, including KU, have said they have a $663 million backlog of repairs and maintenance projects on their campuses. The Kansas Board of Regents has said a $100 million per year increase in maintenance funding would allow schools to get a handle on the major repairs.

Reggie Robinson, president and chief executive officer of the Kansas Board of Regents, opposed the measure.

He said limiting tax increases to counties where state universities are located "appears to imply that the responsibility of taking care of state buildings rests with entities other than the state of Kansas and with only a subset of Kansas citizens."

He said increasing nonresident tuition could mean a loss of students and revenue. He also defended the policies of KU and Kansas State University of using some funds from tuition increases to provide aid to low-income students.

Schwartz said the committee would continue discussing the measure next week.

Lawmakers have failed to come up with a plan to address deferred maintenance, although numerous proposals have been floated.

Gov. Kathleen Sebelius has proposed an increase in tolls on the Kansas Turnpike, but legislators have generally ignored the idea.

After the appropriations meeting, Robinson said he welcomed discussion.

"I continue to be pleased that they are interested in trying to do something about the problem," he said of lawmakers.

Comments

KsTwister 7 years ago

That $8mil dollar Dole building could of fixed quite a few things in 2003. How does the say go...poor planning on your part?

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lunacydetector 7 years ago

i think one of richard heckler's - aka merrill's ideas should be implimented. a cost/benefit analysis needs to be performed to see if KU is REALLY paying their fair share - don't forget the fire protection and police costs as well as infrastructure upkeep for our streets.

as for upkeep and repairs of KU's buildings, please don't even think about trying to touch the endowment's money. don't even think about selling off some of KU's properties, and by all means do not raise the tuition for the poor students who want to attend this school.

no, i have a better idea - a KU Virtual School. screw the old crumbling buildings, time to get with the computer age and offer classes online. end of story and end of problem. bet the enrollment would double overnight as well.

imagine all the parks and green spaces and bicycle paths that could be created....

:)

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KsTwister 7 years ago

10 reasons to figure out why no one bothers with upkeep on the hill. Your right. It takes money,follow it.

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oldgoof 7 years ago

Twister: you have about 10 unrelated issues there. .. A couple of years ago, some the legislature questioned the Regents numbers, and they requested Legislative Post Audit to audit the Regents request and numbers. So, they have been audited. The legislature has been trying to make the problem go away...but they haven't appropriated the money to do so.

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snowWI 7 years ago

Their was a lot of mention about Washington County Kansas earlier on in the discussion. This county is losing large numbers of younger residents to larger metropolitan areas. Housing prices are extremely depressed. The median value of a house in the year 2000 according to the census bureau was only $32,200. Nearly 1/4 of the residents are over age 65. http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/20/20201.html

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KsTwister 7 years ago

So if KU isn't paying for its own maintenance with the tuition it charges, well why NOT? Did let let too many kids in for free? Do they fail to charge admission at all the games? Whoever is sitting in the Accounting/Budget Department needs replaced whether that is at the office of the Board of Regents or the butt on the Hill. Their salaries made to those athletic people should not become the fault of the State.Those salaries should come from their own Endowment funds and line item budget. They keep building but don't fix anything?? Audit please.

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yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

I have enjoyed Sigmoid making a fool of himself (again).

Such a chatterbox until three hours ago, then, poof!

Either he had a surgery to perform, or he is embarrassed by his wrong-headed posts.

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yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

I would have no problem with DoCo paying higher taxes to support KU, as long as non-DoCo residents are required to pay higher tuition, an out-of-county tuition.

This tuition increase on non-DoCoers should approximate the monies gathered by extra county taxes.

Heck, I would even throw in JoCo, as at least half of KU students come from JoCo.

So, those residents of counties besides Douglas and Johnson would be required to pay out-of-county tuition.

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KsTwister 7 years ago

Cool. Lawrence will have a University to go with the golf course we bought too.

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logrithmic 7 years ago

Sigmund is fundamentally wrong for another reason. He states that it is private enterprise that funds state expenditures. While this is true, he FAILS to complete the circle. That is, he fails to state that it is state expenditures that fund private enterprise, some forms of private enterprise at a much higher degree than others.

For example, if you own a restaurant in Topeka, you might make a lot of your income off of state expenditures (payments to employees). Same in Lawrence. If you own a company that is involved in construction, you will probably benefit far more from the taxes collected to support KU's infrastructure upgrades than would a company that sells used CDs or rents videos.

Sigmund's disingenuous arguments are typical of the rightwingers on this forum that support the same type of giveaways being pushed by the Deverchestnutbush crowd.

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TheNorthlander 7 years ago

I think Shawnee County and Topeka residents should pay for the salaries of the dim-wit Kansas bureaucrats and legislators.

They are old, crumbling and a true eye-sore.

Since they are situated in Topeka, let Shawnee County provide their salaries, even though they are supposed to serve all Kansans.

Doesn't make much sense, eh? Of course not.

KU is to be funded by the State of Kansas at-large. Not Douglas County.

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dhill00 7 years ago

Sigmund and Goof I think you are both wrong. "How KU is funded KU is a public institution and relies on state funds, tuition, fees, private gifts, federal grants and contracts for the funds needed to operate the university. To help keep education at KU accessible, tuition and fees paid by students account for 16 percent of the university's revenues while appropriations from the state Legislature account for 24 percent. "

24% from the state

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oldgoof 7 years ago

Hawk: Sorry, I guess I didn't understand your 10:13 post. Nor do I understand your "BRAIN" references. Sorry.

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oldgoof 7 years ago

Sigmund, fyi, of the nearly $100 million the state grants to community colleges, Johnson County gets about 20% of this.

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oldgoof 7 years ago

Your are correct shockchalk. Legislators have been annually apprised, informed, and briefed about this problem for years and years. And it is they who have ignored the issue.

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oldgoof 7 years ago

Someone is going to have to take Sigmunds mouse away from him and put it in time-out!

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shockchalk 7 years ago

Thanks oldgoof. Sigmund is wrong about a LOT of things on this issue....."this isn't a legislature problem, it's a problem of budgetary issues at the University level." Wrong, wrong, wrong. It IS a STATE problem because they are STATE buildings. It is the legislature and their budgeting nightmare that started this problem and that's why it's no surprise their idea is ridiculous as well.

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oldgoof 7 years ago

Sigmund:"Johnson County Community College receives little or no State funding" . Sigmund: Without getting to your arguments, Goof says you are dead wrong for the second time today in stating facts on this thread. Get the facts in order. Taxes support approx. 75% of JoCoJuco's operational instructional expenditures (of which millions! is from the state), while public support (from only from the state) pays only about 50-55% of KU's. (Tuition and fees are the remainder) And JoCoJuco is proportionately much more dependent upon public tax money for building construction than is KU.

Juco buildings ARE local buildings and should be supported by the local district, and University buildings ARE state buildings, and should be supported by the state. Jucos are governed by local boards. Universities are governed by a state board. It is pretty simple.

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Sigmund 7 years ago

Johnson County Community College receives little or no State funding, yet they serve the same constituents as KU. In fact, I have heard that some basic math classes are so poorly taught at KU (because of crumbling classrooms no doubt) that many KU students fulfill their requirements at JCCC.

Surely, Douglas County and Lawrence are better than Johnson County in their support of higher education in the Sate of Kansas? Surely, we are superior to all those JoCo "developturds"? Douglas County and Lawrence care so much more about education than Johnson County and now is the time we can prove it. I strongly urge the PLC/GRA to take the lead on this right prior to the election and announce their intentions to fight hard to insure Douglas County and Lawrence increase our investment in higher education in the State of Kansas.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"Why is it up to the private sector to foot the bill? Because the public sector earns no money!"

Wow, what a breathtakingly stupid comment, but you've proven time and again the extreme opacity of your ideological blinders.

The public sector provides the services that the public has asked it to provide, and the vast majority of public employees work hard at their jobs just like employees in the private sector. That costs money, which is provided by the tax collections that have been approved by elected officials.

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TheNorthlander 7 years ago

Sigmund--

Interesting points and I did like the statement that it is not just Democratic-minded persons who value education and tax increases.

You and I would probably disagree on this topic since you are seeing KU as a local educational entity, even though it serves students/families throughout the entire state. I still believe this is inequitable to the tax payers of Douglas County, since the state university is intended to serve the entire state.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 7 years ago

oldgoof...the issue was does Washington county take in more than they spend...they spend all they take in...therefore, they have nothing left as one poster suggested...have you been there lately? One thing they got going that Lawrence doesn't is....a nice highway running east and west...to points north...the northern corridor of Kansas is growing..

Invest in land in Jeff Co and Leavenworth County...no colleges there...forget about Douglas and Johnson..too much KU connection.....

While driving around and investing...look for the BRAIN....if you find it, call Corliss about the reward. How's about a non-legalwager when the BRAIN will be returned...now not only to Lawrence but the STATE OF KANSAS....this is getting really, really serious....TWO BRAINS gone in .... did all those pigs get killed?

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Sigmund 7 years ago

What if Douglas County was comprised of only 1,000 residents? What if the KU Administration hadn't built new buildings and maintained what they had with the budget they were given? Well it's not, and they didn't.

So now it's up to Douglas County taxpayers to step up to the plate. I can see many benefits from this Republican sponsored investment in education. It will prove to the citizens of Kansas that it isn't just the Democrats who are for higher taxes and it isn't just the Democrats who care about eduction. Plus once the citizens of Lawrence start footing a larger portion of the funding for out local University we will demand a larger role in how that money is spent.

Why is it up to the private sector to foot the bill? Because the public sector earns no money!

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TheNorthlander 7 years ago

But Sigmund, it's a state university, not a local establishment.

The "progressives" probably aren't against a tax increase, although I can't speak for them, but they are probably against singling-out Douglas County residents.

What if Douglas County was comprised of only 1,000 residents, then who foots the bill? Is the sustainability of KU merely dependent on those that live in Douglas County and the out-of-state students?

There must be a better way.

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Sigmund 7 years ago

I just find it hard to believe that the "progressive" in this town are against this tax increase. Of course Douglas County should pay extra taxes to help support KU, look at all the benefits we get from KU and the city of Lawrence should lead the way!

We can do better than the rest of Kansas with our support and I STRONGLY URGE the PLC/GRA to boldly lead the way towards higher taxes to support education in Kansas and to support our local University. They have talked the talk, now is the time for them to walk the walk!

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drewdun 7 years ago

"All these highly educated government liberals and they still act like the garden variety, by stealing other peoples money." - Dambudzo

Did you even read the article?

Thanks for proving once again what a joke you are.

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TheNorthlander 7 years ago

The State of Kansas is similar to that long-lost cousin, who you weren't even sure was alive any longer, who comes knocking on your door after you win the $275 million lottery.

"Cousin, how are you? I've been thinking a lot about you all these years, thought I should drop you a visit."

"Later. Deadbeat"

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logrithmic 7 years ago

Dambudzo says he stands corrected and has revised his statement to read:

"All these highly educated government conservatives and they still act like the garden variety, by steling other peoples' money."

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75x55 7 years ago

bugmenot - good points on endowment. Once people start seeing major bucks, they lose their minds and will suggest anything to get their hands on it.

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deec 7 years ago

Maybe they should hire illegal immigrants to do the repairs.

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imastinker 7 years ago

I think the state is saying that the c ost of repairing the items that need fixed don't cost 638 million dollars. So they turn up the heat on the university to fix it.

I bet they could find someone to do the work required for a quarter the number being quoted. This is generally how these government projects work. If you compare government spending for a building to spending in the private sector, there's an amazing difference. Like 100k for a kitchen. I have a nice kitchen in a house that was about that price, and I got four extra bedrooms with it too!

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bugmenot 7 years ago

It's the Republicans doing this, stupid.

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Dambudzo 7 years ago

All these highly educated government liberals and they still act like the garden variety, by stealing other peoples money.

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bugmenot 7 years ago

What do people not understand about the endowment? You can't get the money for repairs there. As an earlier poster said, that money is all earmarked by its donors. You can't just reshuffle it around and go against donors' wishes. It's illegal, first, and second, it will completely squeeze off future donations. Yes, there's a billion dollars sitting there, but there's only about $10 million of that available for general purposes.

Plus, and I hate to point out the obvious, but the whole point of an endowment is to not touch the principal and to use the interest as a constant and predictable revenue stream for the University. If they dip into the little bit of principal that isn't donor-restricted, they won't have any revenue stream for future years.

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bugmenot 7 years ago

$163 million divided by 100,000 Douglas County residents means $1,630 per person in the county to make up the difference. I think that's beyond ridiculous, and there's no way anyone in DG Co is experiencing a $1,600 per person benefit by virtue of living in the same city as KU.

$163 million divided by 2.7 million Kansans works out to $60 per person statewide.

In any event, I think it's illegal for the state to proscribe to local government what it much charge for taxes, so it is (probably) a non-issue.

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oldgoof 7 years ago

HawK:the "hawk" doubts that Washington county takes in more than it spends. That place is depressed." . Hawk, you would be quite surprised. Most rural counties do....it costs far more to run schools, roads, hospitals,social programs etc per capita. And being geriatrically gifted, I bet the County is far down on state income taxes percapita, and sales taxes too.
, Goof is comfortable enough he would accept a large non-legal wager on the topic.

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logrithmic 7 years ago

I'm surprised Bush, Dever and Chestnut aren't for this! After all, this means jobs for Lawrence subsidized by Douglas County taxpayers. Isn't this what they want? They want us to buy jobs! Who give a rat's behind if it's the State of Kansas buying jobs or the citizens of Douglas County?

I'm with the folks that say this should come out of their endowment. Or if they want the county/city to pick up the tab for KU repairs, then KU needs to pay a fair share of the tax burden for the infrastructure costs - fire, police, EMS, water, electricity, etc., that they and their constituency do not do.

And by the same token, the developturds need to do this too!

Vote Boog, David and Carey if you're tired of having your tax dollars support the wealthy few!!!!

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oldgoof 7 years ago

kmat: "I will also purchase a home just across the county line." . Don't let the door hit you and your attitude on the way to JoCo Kmat. We can use your vacant house.

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yourworstnightmare 7 years ago

More circus antics from the clowns in the Kansas legislature.

This is not a serious piece of legislation. It is ideologues in the Kansas legislature giving KU and Kansas higher education a big slap across the face. It's a pants-job. It's a big f&%$ you.

Kansas legislators: get serious or get out.

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KsTwister 7 years ago

Just like all the retail investments that Boog and Highberger brought let alone the quick suburbs built last year---you might as well add KU to the list(even if most of the maintenance they want is for athletic departments).More attention was paid to pipe dreams than real issues of city maintenance. Losers are the taxpayers and no Republican here. Like other states it may do well to define where the Regents send state dollars too, we deserve to know.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"Invest in land now in Jefferson county and Leavenworth County...next economic development oppportunites."

Maybe, but for economic development to take place, there needs to be the proper infrastructure-- roads, sewage and water treatment plants, fire and police protection, someplace for the workers to live and schools for their kids. Who is going to pay for all of that?

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shockchalk 7 years ago

k-mat, While I agree this is a terrible idea, I do feel the need to point out a few things.

1- KU cannot build any additional buildings without including the cost of maintenance in the budget.

2- The Student Rec center is only free for the students. Employees must pay to use the new center.

3- Planting flowers, landscaping, etc, is not all that KU does to maintain the campus. They are constantly doing all they can (carpentry, masonry, electrical, plumbing, hvac, etc. with the funding they have. There are critical problems (steam tunnels, drainage systems, power distribution systems) that need major funding for repair.

The legislature needs to address this STATE problem...just not in the horrible way this article describes.

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trinity 7 years ago

my dyin' arse it's "depressed" (washington county), hawk. sure there are some pockets of really sad individuals that can't seem to get a leg up-but then again there are some pretty darn wealthy folk there, too. in fact probably alot more than you realize.

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kmat 7 years ago

First, there should be a stop put on all new building on campus. Can't keep the current ones in good shape, then you don't need to build more.

Second, turn the fancy, not needed workout center recently built near Robinson into a pay to use center. Currently, all KU employees get to use that unneeded, way too expensive and fancy gym to work out. What ever happened to walking the damn hill? I was always in awesome shape when I went to KU, but I got off my butt and walked it and didn't need an expensive gym.

Defer some funds from the athletics dept to help maintain campus. Yes, we love our basketball, but the players are here for an education also. Just a small amount of the funds they get could go a long way in fixing up campus.

They spend how much on flowers, landscaping, etc..., but can't maintain the buildings. I guess the flowers help the outside look good while the insides of the buildings are in disrepair.

I work in KC and if my taxes go up, I'll not only be doing all my shopping in KC, I will also purchase a home just across the county line. We already pay higher taxes in Lawrence than in O.P., but we don't get our roads repaired and basic things taken care of. Lawrence is becoming a giant joke.

And if DG county residents have to fund KU, then it should be completely controlled by DG county. If someone from outside the county wants to attend, then they pay much higher tuition rates. That would shut these morons in Topuka up.

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Defender 7 years ago

"i say, let the Endowment pay for the repairs and maintenance. it'd be the right thing to do - they already have the money and they're supposed to help the university aren't they?"

But lunacydetector, this was suggested by Republicans, so why aren't you stepping in line? You know, I believe you're downright un-American for going against your own party. What is the world coming too?

Is your name now sarcasmdetector?

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Rationalanimal 7 years ago

In the history of bad ideas, this is a hum-dinger. Please tell me there are brighter minds in Kansas that can come up with a solution that doesn't involve some kind of tax.

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x96merrill3 7 years ago

Log-- Have you contacted Bush, Chestnutt, OR Dever about this issue? I actually talked to James Bush just this morning and he is vehemently opposed to it. I guess that throws a wrench in your rant!!!

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bunnyhawk 7 years ago

Yet another example of Republicreep leadership...........when are we gonna learn these folks are NOT the friends of working Americans, Kansas?

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hawkperchedatriverfront 7 years ago

Earnings tax for city of Lawrence. Hold budgets in line. no more raises for school, city and county employees. EARNINGS taxes for all KU EMPLOYEES....lets see 1% of Hemenway should bring in at least a couple thousand and mangino...gee this is starting to get into big money, not to mention Perkins and then we got those cows at the dairy barn with USD 497...the bling, bling, bling, kaching , kaching is sounding better and better. Music to the ears. tIME FOR EARNINGS tax for Douglas County. Topkea could do it also for state and employees. BOOG would cough up some money to Topeka since he works there. Lean over BOOG and take a deep breath...cough once. chancellor bob....LEAN OVER and take a really deep breath...

sIGMUND..is correct.....IT IS COMING. Invest in land now in Jefferson county and Leavenworth County...next economic development oppportunites. why you think another turnpke exchange is coming...what you think will happen when new bridge at lecompton opens....welcome to the new Williamstown Industrial Park....served by workers from Perry, Oskaloosa, Nortonville, Atchison, McClouth, Topeka, Mayetta....Lawrence just doesn't get it. BRAIN return call corliss for reward info.

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craigers 7 years ago

Can somebody post the email addresses of our reps so I can write a letter to them?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

"Why should the private sector pick up the tab(?) "

Because it's their kids who go to get educated there. Because it's their employees who get educated there.

Other than that, no reason at all.

Of course, we could change the law and require all state buildings to pay property taxes to the local governments, but obviously, that would require a tax increase at the state level.

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hawkperchedatriverfront 7 years ago

the "hawk" doubts that Washington county takes in more than it spends. That place is depressed. As for KU, the salaries need to be cut, the budget needs a stapling job. It is already an employer in town that pays no property taxes. Why should the private sector pick up the tab. The employees at KU are all getting far more in salaries than the county tax coffers could ever provide for them. How about a 1 percent reduction of all KU employees salaries? If that doesn ' t sound so good, then it is time for an EARNINGS TAX in Lawrence to pay for the repairs needed both for KU and the School District...and NO to USD for raises. It is time for the employees of these two governmental bodies to realize where their bread and butter is coming from. It is coming from PRIVATE employers and employees working for private employers.

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Jamesaust 7 years ago

"I suspect Salina, Pratt or Liberal would jump at the opportunity to have KU "

And I suspect not. For every town that already has some community college there's another town nearby that decades ago turned down the opportunity because they didn't want the trouble.

Every dime that the university pumps into local piggybanks is matched by expenses that are incurred in dealing with this behemoth - especially infrastructure - for which the community receives no University or State assistance. Indeed, the State does this twice - once in not providing aid and then again by counting the student as being a resident of their "home" county - not Douglas County where they live most of the year and where public services such as fire protection must be delivered to them.

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shockchalk 7 years ago

collin2006........you may think it's a ridiculous thought but the measure still will not pass

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years ago

As usual, the state legislature would rather use diversions like this, which will never be passed into law, than acknowledge that there are real problems that need real solutions.

Next week, it'll be a new diversion, and the schools will still be underfunded and the universities' buildings will still be crumbling from neglect.

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collin2006 7 years ago

"Reality check is right...........this will die on the floor of the legislature. It's too ridiculous to gain enough strength to pass."

If you think that being too ridiculous is a death knell to a bit of proposed legislation before any state or municipal legislative body, then that thought itself is simply too ridiculous.

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dizzy_from_your_spin 7 years ago

While I'm seldom, very seldom, in favor of any tax increase, university cities benefit from having the school in town. These upcoming repairs also mean more local jobs and spending.

How much money, via KU, does the State pump into Lawrence? If the State decided to move it, would Lawrence approve because it's a burden? I suspect Salina, Pratt or Liberal would jump at the opportunity to have KU for the revenue (and esteem) it generates.

What's unfortunate about this whole affair is that the neglect is not being investigated and the incompetants responsible for it are not held accountable (fired). With the same methods and people in place, is this going to be a recurring theme every 10-20-30 years?

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dhill00 7 years ago

"The $133 million project is expected begin in September or October with construction of a 561-car parking garage beneath the north lawn.

Kerr said he did not expect the $205 million hole in the state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1 to derail support for the renovation.

"Unless you stay committed and stay hitched to a project like this through thick and thin, you never get it done," he said"

I believe when complete the project rose to over 250 million

The legislature had aboslutely no problem funding renovations to their buildings in tight budget times. However they have a problem paying for state buildings not located in Topeka. Irony

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collin2006 7 years ago

Previous Poster Wrote: "But what Kansas is doing is placing the burden of revenue acquisition ONTO their out-of-state students."

Does not Lawrence already force a bed tax on out of state and out of city people that vist the fair city and stay in motels? Revenue acquisition on the backs of such out of state and out of city people is a time honored revenue acquisition ploy. Nearly all sales tax propositions are sold to a community upon the theory that it will spread and share the responsibility of maintaining the community to those who do not reside there.

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shockchalk 7 years ago

Reality check is right...........this will die on the floor of the legislature. It's too ridiculous to gain enough strength to pass.

These are STATE buildings and they need to be taken care of by the state. This deferred maintenance issue has been an issue for a LONG time and most of the blame lies with the STATE for not funding the need. This is not a KU problem. It's the same situation at K-State, WSU, FHSU, PSU, and Emporia.

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trinity 7 years ago

washington county, hah...if any reader is from there, please forgive me, but what a load of hooey! bigtime farm lands there, etc; and talk about getting breaks! holy schmoly. and now, this psuedo sophisticate appropriations person thinks that KU oughta be supported by dg co taxpayers! agghhh!!! hellfire, take a look 'round washington county some time when travelling thru there; collegiate support is very predominantly purple! hmmm, is she proposing similar taxation in dear ol' wildcat country's county????

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common_cents 7 years ago

This state becomes more and more of a joke each day. I would love to get my hands on a line-item listing of the budget.

Let me take a whack at it... I guarantee you I could not only get the important things paid for, but reduce the budget in the process.

The more government grows, the more they want from those of us who work. There is no return for your investment, when the investment is forced upon you.

Remember that and vote appropriately for those who actually make economic sense. Taxes are NOT the answer for everything, and are the true answer for very few things at that.

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Jamesaust 7 years ago

April Fools Day isn't until Sunday, I thought.

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roger_o_thornhill 7 years ago

What logic did these knuckleheads apply to this decision? What possible rationale could there be?

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caveatguy 7 years ago

...But this "local revenue" bill would only raise a tiny pittance of what is needed.
. It is just Melvin and the House Republicans trying to rankle people in Lawrence, Emporia, etc. Especially Lawrence.

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oldgoof 7 years ago

I think Sedgwick County supports WSU with a property tax levy. And residents of Manhattan support KSU with an allocation from their sales tax.

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Sigmund 7 years ago

caveat, you are right, I don't remember that and I stand corrected.

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Sigmund 7 years ago

The fact of the matter is that Douglas County, because of KU, has a influx of tax dollars far in excess of taxes paid to the State and the rest of the citizens of Kansas resents it. They have a valid point and now they are asking that Douglas County residents pay their fair share. It may not pass this time but it is coming so you had better get use to the idea.

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logrithmic 7 years ago

Think about it.... What's different from this and the way the Dever, Bush, and Chestnut want to buy jobs for our county using taxpayer subsidies?

In DeverBushChestnutworld, Taxes will be levied across all taxpayers to support subdivisions and strip malls across the countryside.

Outside of the fact that those doing the levying would be Republicans from around the state, it still is the same principal... let the taxpayer subsidize building and construction which she/he has no interest in.

If someone should pay for this, it should be all state taxpayers. This is a STATE university.

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caveatguy 7 years ago

Sigmund: "I can think of not a single time where higher taxes for education has ever been opposed in Douglas County."

You must be a young one. The first bond issue for a second high school failed miserably. Not so long ago.

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Reality_Check 7 years ago

I like the way we wouldn't get to vote on it, either...whatever happened to "no taxation without representation?"

But, honestly, this is such a bad idea that I bet it dies on the vine or the guv vetoes it. I bet you can't show me one other state that assesses local taxes to pay for state buildings in its district. Just dumb, but it will blow over.

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caveatguy 7 years ago

These Buildings ARE state responsibilities. But so long as we have chancellors spending lavishly on remodel jobs when there are major roof leaks, legislators are not too impressed with the need.

lunacy, you can stuff your billion dollar rants on the endowment associations. They are like banks. When you make a contribution, it is like making a deposit to your bank. You wouldn't want your bank ripped off to take care of buildings. Likewise the donors who donated for "x scholarship fund" don't want theirs ripped of by you. Both deposits have legal strings.

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Sigmund 7 years ago

Yeah, lets not blame the Universities for building new buildings when they can't afford to keep up the ones they already have. This isn't a legislature problem, this is a problem of budget priorities at the University level. In any event, all the progressive socialist in Lawrence will think this is a grand idea and the opposition will fold like a cheap suit.

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logrithmic 7 years ago

Wrong Sigmund. In your book the needs of the few outweight the needs of the many. Greed and selfishness is the rightwing code of honor. Notice folks, Republicans are behind this. The motto of thier party is Greed is good for America. Well now they want to pass the buck to the taxpayers of Douglas County to reward their pals in the construction industry.

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Reality_Check 7 years ago

"Universities, including KU, have said they have a $663 million backlog of repairs and maintenance projects on their campuses."

Due to the legislator's failure to do its job over the years by not allocating enough funding...so now they act like it's a LOCAL problem? Please. Do your job: cut spending somewhere else, raise the income tax, or raise the sales tax statewide. I can think of NOTHING more deserving of our tax dollars than our schools and universities.

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Sigmund 7 years ago

I can think of not a single time where higher taxes for education has ever been opposed in Douglas County. I suspect that this will be no different, so open up those checkbook boys and girls. The only question is how much money will be leaving the local economy, how much less will be spent downtown, and how many more people will be doing their shopping at the Walmart in an effort to stretch their budgets.

Most of the State will think this is a fine idea and in a democracy the majority rules. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, don't you know. Quit being so selfish! Couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of socialist.

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Baille 7 years ago

The state buildings and institutions in Topeka take a lot of money to keep up. Why whould we have to pay for upkeep on those state buildings? Shawnee county gets a huge economic benefit from having those government institutions there. I don't Shawnee countians are paying their share.

I would wager Washington County takes in more tax money than it pays out. I am tired of paying to keep up Washington counties roads, post office, law enforcement and so forth. Washington countians getthe benefit of these state services. They need to foot the bill. I don't think the residents of Washington county are paying their share.

Clearly this Schultz person is right. If local communities "benefit" (Let's not even get into what it costs the community. Why bring accurate economics in something as important as empty rhetoric from boneheaded politicians?) from a "state" program or institution, that local community should support it. So we need to pony up the money, rename the University of Kansas to the University of Douglas County, and send those boneheads in Topeka home.

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logrithmic 7 years ago

This is an issue where the left meets the right. Because we live in this county we should not have special taxes levied on us to support a STATE university.

KU has thumbed its nose at Lawrence for a mighty long time. Administrations have dissed our neighborhoods, our city administrators, etc. Now they want to pass special levies on the city/county to finance repairs to their infrastructure????

This is exactly my argument against the "grow at any cost" pro-developturd contingent that posts their whines here on a daily basis. They too want to levy taxes over the entire county/city to subsidize new housing and building construction throughout the area. Their belief is that this will creat jobs.

Well here we have the State saying they want to tax the county/city to subsidize construction at the University. While they do not state it in the article, jobs would be created in the same construction trade that would benefit from development subsidies. But a giant share of the monies would find its way into the pocket of a few owners of the businesses.

We the taxpayers simply must say no to these types of schemes and the candidates like Dever, Chestnut, and Bush who support them. Vote Boog, David and Carey and end these subsidies that spread the pain over the taxpaying public and the wealth to a few owners of construction and developturd companies.

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Bowhunter99 7 years ago

Are Douglas County residents going to catch some sort of 'in-county' tuition break?

If we're paying extra for living in the same county, then every one else on other counties should pay extra to come to KU.

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blue73harley 7 years ago

If this does pass, we should have more control over the university. First step. No games at Arrowhead. Tax money stays here.

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TheNorthlander 7 years ago

And one more post (then I'm done for the day here)...

...I'm all with lunacy. I came to the University of Kansas from Chicago to attend a decent, affordable university which would allow me to compete in the workplace. My goal was achieved.

Sadly, I have seen the Kansas Legislature piss on the university and abuse their responsibility. The solution is always, pass the buck to the university. Make the university pay. Make the students pay. "It's not our job, we're only the State Legislators that have the state mandated and legal responsibility to fund them, but we mismanage our own funds. Pass it on to 'dem smart peoples."

The University of Kansas should privatize and eliminate any connection with Topeka. KU serves the interests of all state members, that is required of a state school, despite our lack-of-funding by the state we serve.

We should privatize.

Our current students and alumni come from some of the wealthiest areas in the country--California, Texas, Chicago and New York. The KU students and alumni have access to resources and capital from economic regions that can sustain KU much better than the idiots in Topeka ever could.

And the best part is...we wouldn't have to listen others' ignorant ideas about how & what we need to do so we can progress/advance as an educational entity.

Considering only 30% of the Kansas Legislators even have college degrees, maybe they'd be so lucky to apply and be accepted at our private university.

Just better hope I don't come across their application.

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75x55 7 years ago

Hmmm.... does anyone smell 'taxpayer revolt in Kansas' coming?

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TheNorthlander 7 years ago

lunacy--This is for you and others who want to tap into our Endowment Fund. For the record, I made a contribution to help my alma mater...not help the State of Kansas turn their head and underfund and pay for their dead-beat efforts.

Endowmen funds have reached the $1 billion level, however the deferred maintenance problem at KU is climbing into the hundreds of millions of dollars.

Despite the large sums, the former cannot erase the latter. The majority of KU Endowment's funds are restricted, designated by a donor to be used for a certain purpose.

"Most of the donors will specify 'I want these funds to be in place for perpetuity for this cause,'" said Dale Seuferling, KU Endowment president.

Roughly 4 percent of KU Endowment's funds are unrestricted, or are not designated to pay for a specific project or item. The chancellor and KU endowment's executive committee decide what those funds are used for. This year, $7.1 million have been made available for university support. For comparison, the deferred maintenance problem alone has been estimated at more than $200 million.

The $7.1 million is used to fund scholarships and academic and student support, real estate acquisition and construction projects, program support for administration, KU Alumni Association, Graduate School and International Programs, student recruiting and international visitors and faculty and staff development and support.

http://www.oread.ku.edu/2006/october/23/endowment.shtml

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TheNorthlander 7 years ago

This legislation unfairly targets two populations of persons, that should not have to be paying for the University of Kansas: 1. County residents 2. Out-of-state students

Now it is very true, out-of-state students always pay higher tuition to attend public universities, but not to act as a subsidy for the actual state. Since out-of-state students have never contributed to the tax collection of state universities, it would be fair to charge a higher tuition. But what Kansas is doing is placing the burden of revenue acquisition ONTO their out-of-state students.

This is NOT NOT NOT a very good idea at all.

The State of Kansas already has difficulty maintaining their out-of-state, and in-state, graduates from staying in Kansas. Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Minneapolis have jobs markets with competitive salaries. (Just because Johnson County is expanding, doesn't mean people are flocking to Kansas...the state demographic is merely shifting) Out-of-state students have seen tuition rising every year for basically the last 4-5 years.

And should Douglas County residents REALLY have to pay a higher property tax amount, just for living in proximity to the college town?

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lunacydetector 7 years ago

why not have the KU Endowment fork over some money for KU? they're only worth $1 BILLION DOLLARS!!!

so, so tired of government run amok. nothing like a $100,000 kitchen with stainless steel appliances, granite counter tops and custom radiator covers for the vice chancellor - paid for by us taxpayers.

i say, let the Endowment pay for the repairs and maintenance. it'd be the right thing to do - they already have the money and they're supposed to help the university aren't they? even though they are "private," cut off the state's responsibility and let the universities fend for themselves - thus bringing in the help from each university's respective endownment.

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