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Letters to the Editor

Schools’ loss

March 9, 2008

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To the editor:

In Kansas, school boards can veto TIFs because school district funds are on the line. By not vetoing the Oread Inn TIF, USD 497 school board is increasing a developer's profit by over $90,000 per year at the students' and teachers' expense.

TIFs are not an all-or-nothing proposition. TIFs can be designed to rebate only the city's portion of the property and sales tax and allow the schools to keep their tax revenue. In April, the school board is asking us to vote for a property tax increase to pay for teacher salaries, yet is willing to give up over $90,000 annually in property taxes from this project. There are more TIFs in planning stages for Lawrence and now is the time for the school board to establish a precedent.

The school board should veto this TIF and ask the City Commission to create a TIF that allows the school district to keep its property tax revenue. Other cities, such as St. Louis, have TIFs that hold schools harmless. Are we really less interested in funding our children's education than folks from Missouri?

Sara Meyer,

Lawrence

Comments

Kookamooka 6 years, 8 months ago

Other districts, like those in Wyandotte County, are benefiting from the increase tax revenue generated from the Nascar track and the Legends. Those school districts are luring some of our best young talent with their higher teacher salaries. Lawrence will never be a great city until it stops rolling over for the handful of developers who buddy around with the city commision.
Lawrence should be courting unrelated outside investors,developers and entreprenuers to our city. We should have someone on the road 300 days a year, meeting with executives all over the country and showing them how moving their operation to Lawrence will save them money in cost of living expenses and still offer their people a high quality of life. Emphasizing our "green" side might do a lot to coax some of the more progressive companies our way. Veto TIF's for buddies. it's going to be hard. Many of the school board are also friends with these developers. It will feel like betrayal, but the costs to the community can be devastating when compared to not getting your annual Compton Christmas Card.

toefungus 6 years, 8 months ago

Actually, as a home owner, I want a TIFF to allow me to maintain my sidewalks. This benefits the public at large and allows me to invest for the betterment of the city. TIFF's for all!

jafs 6 years, 8 months ago

From what I've read, the developers would in fact be able to make a profit without the TIF.

They simply want to make higher profits.

Why should we subsidize that?

toefungus 6 years, 8 months ago

When property tax increases comes up for a vote, I plan on vetoing the heck out of it.

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