Letters to the Editor

Tax waste

April 9, 2008


To the editor:

We don't need more taxes in Douglas County. The elected officials have wasted more money than most people will ever see.

The teachers have received salary increases of 20.78 percent in four years. I have been retired 21 years under KPERS. I have not received a 5 percent increase in that length of time. Let us get the playing field leveled out here. Quit giving all the money to the same people all the time.

People talk about a living wage. How about a living retirement? Set the raises for active employees under KPERS to the same as the cost of living adjustments KPERS retirees receive. Talking or writing to state officials falls on deaf ears. The standard response is, "You were not guaranteed a raise when you retired," but the politicians guarantee themselves a raise every year. They don't fund KPERS like they should, but they line their own pockets.

Some people make a statement, "It's only a small increase." Small increases year after year turn into a large increase. We don't need any more small increases. We don't need any increases. Elected officials take note: Quit wasting our tax dollars.

Robert Lemon,


LogicMan 9 years, 11 months ago

Did you get out and vote no? (likely yes.)Did you get all your friends and family out to vote too?Warning to various tax/T/program proponents: with more retirees coming to town, expect the local politics to turn more anti-tax like in Florida.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 11 months ago

Light industrial sites with no tenants on board cost you plenty. Why 4,000 new acres?Just because the Chamber/real estate/development industry purchase property does not guarantee that construction will be allowed anytime soon. It is NOT the duty of the taxpayer or local government to maximize profits for this or any industry.Otherwise taxpayers realize tax increases to cover the cost of additional demand on community services.All new projects should be accompanied with:Environmental Impact StudiesEconomic Impact studiesTraffic Impact Studies Impact Fees or Excise Taxes paid by developers All of the above paid for by the developers which is not unusual Industrial Park Benefit District for all maintenanceOtherwise taxpayers get stuck with paying for installation and maintenance of all new infrastructure in the end.Lawrence and Douglas County need practical and fiscally responsible new commissioners yesterday. The two new city commissioners do not fit the bill.The new commissioners want to cut services. Cutting services does not necessarily mean cutting spending.

Richard Heckler 9 years, 11 months ago

USD 497 may well be the least of your concerns. City Hall is where the problems are located. Each time new housing developments are approved YOUR taxes are increased.New housing developments place new expenses on the school district. Think about that. If residential growth paid for itself and was financially positive, we would not be in a budget crunch. But with increased numbers of houses you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by single-family housing does not pay for the services, they require from a municipality.Each time a new sewage treatment plant is build your taxes are increased now at 9% annually.Over built retail does not pay back.

james bush 9 years, 11 months ago

There was no guarantee that KPERS would raise retirees' pensions! STOP the gawddamned spending!........local, state, and federal!

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 9 years, 11 months ago

"STOP the gawddamned spending!::..local, state, and federal!"Does that mean you support the withdrawal of all US troops from Iraq, and cutting all the boondoggle defense/war spending?

BigDog 9 years, 11 months ago

Just to clear up an inaccuracy in Robert's LTE. Legislators do not get a pay increase every year. I know during several debates regarding raises for state employees, legislators have voted to NOT be included in the raises.During a hearing this session it was stated that the proposed 1% increase for KPERS retirees costs over $14 million.

texburgh 9 years, 11 months ago

To Mr. Lemon:1. Legislators in Kansas rarely vote themselves a pay raise. They do get proposed but almost never pass - it hurts one's chances for re-election.2. When you were an active KPERS employee, did you advocate for holding your wages down until then-current retirees got a COLA? (I didn't think so.)3. Kansas teachers are among the lowest paid in the nation. Yet these low pay professionals deliver some of the best student performance results in the nation as measured by the ACT, SAT, and the National Assessment of Academic Progress (NAEP). They deserve to be paid more because they work miracles. No one likes to pay taxes, Mr. Lemon. But before you demand that teachers accept low wages and that government stop spending, remember that a sizable portion of your KPERS benefit comes from tax dollars - the state contribution to KPERS on your behalf all those years that you worked. If you want good roads, fire and police protection, services for the elderly and disabled, well-educated future generations, protection from terrorists, a strong military, AND a cost of living adjustment - be prepared to pay taxes.

igby 9 years, 11 months ago

These builders are to blame and the houses, duplexes and apartments they built 15 years ago look like trash today.

james bush 9 years, 11 months ago

Bush and the rest of the federal government, dems and repubs, are out to buy votes for themselves or their party and to hell with the us! The administration and congress is passing out money to dead beat borrowers and lenders. Now they want to pass out money to house builders! City and state government politicians are just following the political hacks in Washington.The dollar has gone to hell and inflation is on the way. Then see what your KPERS or any other retirement benefit will buy when inflation goes to 10 percent per year.This country needs a good 3rd party. McCain, Obama, Clinton are all spenders!

Charles L. Bloss, Jr. 9 years, 11 months ago

10-4! The KS retirement system sucks. The only cost of living raises we ever get is when the legislature gives us an occasional one. There should be a law that we get a cost of living raise each and every year, even if it is only 5%. Thank you, Lynn

james bush 9 years, 11 months ago

Retirees are not entitled to 5 percent c.o.living every year for gawd's sake! Retirement pension should be a complement to savings. No govrernment or company should be required to pay retirement "wages" beyond what you agreed to when you were employed.Take care of your own future; don't look to government or others to take care of you! Inflation is everyone's enemy and big government spenders and handouts are the problem!

Godot 9 years, 11 months ago

I talked to my friends and family about voting. Responses ranged from, "what election," to "I quit voting years ago."

Godot 9 years, 11 months ago

Kansas teachers are among the lowest paid in the nation because Kansas lolls in the trenches with the states that have the lowest income per capita and lowest performing economies. It stands to reason that the average Kansas teacher is just as underpaid as is the average Kansas citizen.

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