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Archive for Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mayor to ask commission to OK a second sales tax ballot question for transit

August 12, 2008, 2:45 p.m. Updated August 12, 2008, 3:01 p.m.

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Mayor Mike Dever plans to ask commissioners Tuesday night to consider another sales tax proposal that would provide additional funding to the community's embattled public transit system.

Dever said Tuesday afternoon that he'll ask commissioners to consider a second public transit sales tax question that potentially could dedicate a full 0.25 percent sales tax to the city's bus system.

Here's how it would work: A two-tenths of 1 percent sales tax to fund transit would remain on the ballot. Commissioners last week approved moving ahead with that ballot initiative. But a separate 0.05 percent sales tax - five hundreds of a percent - sales tax question also would be on the ballot. The 0.05 percent sales tax would generate an extra $600,000 a year in sales tax funding for the T, according to city estimates.

Voters could cast two separate votes to support the 0.20 percent sales tax and the 0.05 percent sales tax, which if both passed would provide the transit system with 0.25 percent in sales tax funding.

But voters who believe that is too much funding for the transit system could choose to vote only for the 0.20 percent sales tax or vote for neither. The 0.05 percent sales, however, could not be approved by itself. It only would be enacted if the 0.20 percent tax also passed.

"I want to do this because last week there was a clear desire from many members of the public to seek more money from the public for transit," Dever said.

At last week's meeting, commissioners heard many speakers urge the City Commission to move forward on a 0.25 percent sales tax rather than the 0.20 percent sales tax.

Dever said the extra five-hundreds of a percent, would give the city more ability to purchase new buses and take care of other capital needs related to the transit system.

The two transit questions would be in addition to a 0.30 percent sales tax that will be on the ballot to fund streets, sidewalks, fire engines, stormwater improvements and other infrastructure.

Dever said he did not think voters would become confused by the multiple ballot issues, saying other cities often put five or more sales tax initiatives on one ballot.

"I think we'll just need to educate the public on the issues," Dever said.

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

Comments

beatrice 6 years, 4 months ago

Bowhunter: "It's a HUGE money pit that has to be stopped and re-engineered if desired. We can't continue to throw money at a flawed and vastly unneeded service."I'm coming in late on this story, so can somebody explain: Is Bowhunter talking about the war in Iraq?

Take_a_letter_Maria 6 years, 4 months ago

Sounds like a CYA move on Dever's part to counter the CYA Amyx played last week

KsTwister 6 years, 4 months ago

Whew, this sure has angered a lot of people on the street. Thanks Mike, "NO" just made a point with more taxpayers.

Godot 6 years, 4 months ago

This additional sales tax will get a big boost from Westar's increase for fuel, and increase in rates. Everyone will get a double whammy when they open their electricity bills and see the extra sales tax on top of the rate increases.

Meatwad 6 years, 4 months ago

I'm on the fence. We need the T (well, I don't use it --- it doesn't go where I need to go), but maybe it will need to be scaled down, at least until and unless there is more demand. I like the idea of a compromise, somewhere down the middle. Service cuts to save money, but a tax to at least keep it going. I don't think the tax will really affect me much at all. It doesn't seem like a big tax. Road repair and other issues are important to me so I'd vote for a tax for the T but the smaller one. I like Dever's plan.

sjschlag 6 years, 4 months ago

"No, there was a clear desire from some very loud members of the public to force other people to pay for their pet project."Then why weren't you there to tell them how you think?And as far as "forcing other people to pay for their pet project" since when is voting a form of coercion? The public will get their chance to say they want this project to go forward or not.

BigPrune 6 years, 4 months ago

And if you don't vote for either and leave that part blank your ballot will get kicked out for being incomplete.

Sigmund 6 years, 4 months ago

Another installment of the LJW award winning series, "Chad Lawhorn Touts New City Taxes!" Part 47: What is Another $600,000 Among Friends?" Out of the top 363 cities in per capita income; Kansas City ranks 63rd, Wichita ranks 67th, Topeka ranks 173rd, and Lawrence ranks 258th and sinking!http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2008/aug/07/lawrence_drops_national_capita_income_rankings/Further, Wichita and Kansas City have per capita incomes 50%-80% higher and make Lawrence look like a third world country. If this Commission wants to tax us like Johnson county and pay for our homes like Johnson county shouldn't we have a per capita income like Johnson county or Wichita or even Topeka first? Lawrence's per capita income is dropping not rising.Less than 5% of city residents use the empTy yet we increase taxes and spend 2.6 million dollars every year, year after year? Vote "No" for ANY new taxes (no matter how many are added and no matter how many "educational articles" (read propoganda pieces) Chad Lawhorn, Cub Reporter, writes. Then vote against all incumbents in the next general election. Redo until we get a Commission that can live within a budget and doesn't attempt to extort more and more money year after year.No, No, and now NO! Increasing taxes by an additional $600,000 on top of the new taxes sucks an additional $600,000 on top of the new taxes out of the local private economy. Every dollar in new taxes is a dollar LESS to spend with local businesses. Every dollar less spent with local business means they have less to give raises or hire new workers. This Commission needs to either cut all existing departments equally (except Fire and Police) and raise fares for the empTy to at least 25% (the national average is 22%) of the cost of the service, $2.00. Otherwise we simply must get rid of it and stop paying over $200,000/month, month after month, $2,600,000/year, year after year, in corporate welfare to MV Transportation.

Godot 6 years, 4 months ago

""I want to do this because last week there was a clear desire from many members of the public to seek more money from the public for transit," Dever said.No, there was a clear desire from some very loud members of the public to force other people to pay for their pet project.

oldvet 6 years, 4 months ago

Great... now we have three issues to vote "NO" on...

6 years, 4 months ago

BigPrune (Anonymous) says:And if you don't vote for either and leave that part blank your ballot will get kicked out for being incomplete.I don't think so. I do believe that your ballot would get kicked out if you were silly enough to vote yes and no, but not for leaving it blank.But by leaving it blank, ya aren't really voting now are you?

Godot 6 years, 4 months ago

"nah, nah, nah, I say, nah, nah, nah!!!"na uh nah nah . na uh nah nah . say hey hey . nah nah nah.

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