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Archive for Wednesday, January 30, 2008

City likely won’t add to ballot

Commissioners say April 1 too soon to ask for tax increase

January 30, 2008

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Tax proposal likely not on ballot

A key city commissioner says it's unlikely the city will put a sales tax question on the ballot and join the school district this spring. Enlarge video

Two key commissioners don't see the city joining the school board in asking voters in April to approve tax increases.

City commissioners have discussed putting a sales tax increase on the ballot to fund street improvements. And on Monday, Lawrence school board member Rich Minder said it made some sense for voters to consider the city's sales tax question at the time they act on the school's request for an extra $680,000 in property taxes.

But an April 1 vote is too much, too soon for city officials.

"I think it's just too short" of a time period, City Commissioner Mike Amyx said Tuesday.

Amyx said the city would want several months for supporters to lobby and persuade voters. So the city probably wouldn't be ready for any ballot questions before the August primary election, he said.

Besides that, the city's budget runs on a calendar year, while the school district's new budget goes into effect July 1.

These tax issues, however, have brought to light some frustrations school board members have with city commissioners. At their meeting Monday, some board members said they thought too many conversations between the city and school district focus on city infrastructure needs - and not enough on education.

"It shouldn't be a competition. That's what I don't want it to become," said Craig Grant, school board vice president. "That's why I hope my words aren't too harsh, but I just think there must be a way to work better together than we are now."

Mayor Sue Hack agreed. And next week, she and school board president Linda Robinson will meet next week with administrators to talk through issues, Hack said Tuesday.

Part of the rift between the city and school board stems from how the two groups handled future funding for the WRAP program, which puts Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center clinical social workers in schools.

The school district funded the program in its early years, then secured a federal grant for WRAP. When grant funding ran low, the city in 2007 chipped in $350,000, and the Douglas County Commission stepped forward with $225,000.

When the school district said it didn't have funds for the program this school year, city commissioners pulled their funding, too. A scaled-down WRAP program is operating this year, using money from the county and Bert Nash.

The extra funding the school district is seeking in its April 1 election would fund the WRAP program and provide money for teacher pay raises.

Hack, a former teacher, thinks the problems between the city and school district can be repaired.

"I think it's just doing a better job of communicating with each other," she said.

Comments

BigPrune 6 years, 11 months ago

Why can't the City and the School Board live within OUR means?

redmoonrising 6 years, 11 months ago

We can't live within ours because they have to live within theirs. I sold my house last year because they were taxing me to death. Sure I pay for the taxes on my rental but it's still a lot cheaper than owning for someone over 60 and disabled with no steady income ( and no government support!). I loved my home but just couldn't afford the taxes any longer and they're only going up, up, up.

LogicMan 6 years, 11 months ago

With the softening economy, raising taxes will only push it further down. Terrible timing!

Vote no. And have all your friends and family vote no too. Be sure to help get out the vote -- give a ride to the polls to your neighbor in need, or help them get an absentee ballot.

By August the economy's picture should be much clearer -- the School Board would be wise to wait.

absolutelyridiculous 6 years, 11 months ago

When Linda Robinson was asked about including an additional $1 million on the ballot to eliminate school fees (I am paying about $50 per month for 2 kids because I didn't have the $350 to pay them upfront)..she totally disregarded the question and politely "thanked me" for my input.

Time for the school board to wake up. Listening is a huge part of education-and they aren't learning very well.

Linda and gang...can I buy you a pencil sharpener?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 11 months ago

TABOR = neocon thinking = not good for much

Raider 6 years, 11 months ago

Vote no. And have all your friends and family vote no too. Be sure to help get out the vote - give a ride to the polls to your neighbor in need, or help them get an absentee ballot.

Amen!! If there is any group forming against this, let me know. I will be more than happy to put up signs in my neighborhood, and wherever else that I can. The School Board needs to live within their means. Taxes are high enough as it is.

KsTwister 6 years, 11 months ago

Considering the city raised property taxes in the past then blew the money on needed art,roundabouts and other necessities. That is what happens when you take money out of the next years budget. The school just got a hefty rate hike of their own, perhaps some accounting courses need to be invested in first?

Bill Chapman 6 years, 11 months ago

"At their meeting Monday, some board members said they thought too many conversations between the city and school district focus on city infrastructure needs - and not enough on education."

  • Would be interesting for the kiddies to actually have to WALK to school because the city streets are so bad that the Laidlaw refuses to drive on the streets.

Steve Jacob 6 years, 11 months ago

If the programs the $680,000 would pay for are so important, they should have used the leftover bond money for it.

Boy, will that come up alot here from now to election day.

Sigmund 6 years, 11 months ago

Merrill=moronic=cut-and-paste=sock puppet!

toefungus 6 years, 11 months ago

This is a crazy town. How can raising taxes be something we can do better if we just communicate more. The problem is the taxpayers are communicating as well as they can, but the school board and city commission are just not listening. Do you think if they raise taxes enough we will all start to like it?

Kathy Getto 6 years, 11 months ago

Only an idiot would recommend TABOR. Take a look at what it has done for Colorado.

BigPrune (Anonymous) says:

Why can't the City and the School Board live within OUR means?


Ask your President, I am certain he can explain it.

Godot 6 years, 11 months ago

I propose that there be a prohibition against spending any taxpayer dollars to advertise, advocate or promote an increase in taxes, and that includes the dollar value of the salaries of government employees.

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