Archive for Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Voters hear arguments for, against sales taxes

If you are registered to vote, but are still trying to decide where you stand on the issues - help was available Monday night.

October 21, 2008


Election 2008

In-depth coverage of the candidates and the issues, all leading up to the Aug. 5 primary and the Nov. 4 general election.

With the election two weeks away, supporters and opponents of a trio of city sales taxes were battling for votes Monday night.

About 20 people attended a sales tax forum sponsored by the Lawrence Association of Neighborhoods at the South Park Recreation Center. What they were treated to largely was a debate about whether to approve two sales taxes totaling 0.25 percent designed to keep the city's public transit system running for the next 10 years.

On one side was Jim Mullins, a leader with the Americans for Prosperity group, who is urging voters to reject the sales taxes. He said voters should reject the sales taxes and ask city commissioners to explore other options to serve those truly in need.

"We need to be asking the city to come up with a better system," Mullins said. "When that happens, we'll get behind it because we want to make sure we have a system that takes care of the most vulnerable."

But supporters said a "no" vote would leave the city essentially without any public transit system at all for at least several years.

"I think it will be a minimum of three to five years to jump through all the hoops to get another fixed-route transit system up and going again," said Tom Worker-Braddock, who is a private transportation planner and member of the Save the T campaign. "And at that point we'll be the last of the Kansas communities in line to get federal funding."

The forum also included information on a 0.30 percent sales tax designed to provide funding for infrastructure improvements, such as street maintenance, stormwater projects, fire truck purchases, and a hike and bike trail.

"Nobody likes a tax increase of any kind, but if there has to be one, a sales tax is the best way to go because people who visit from out of town will pay it, too," said Ted Boyle of the North Lawrence Improvement Association, which is urging voters to approve all three sales taxes.

Mullins' group is also opposing that tax because it believes government has not done enough to control spending.


middleofdirtroad 9 years, 1 month ago

And what has Ted Boyle done for North Lawrence,Nothing!! People with old cars and trucks parked in thier yards,yards that need cleaned up.Just has let this part of town turn into the slum of Lawrence.Why does he not report these people to the city??Maybe afraid to lose his little worthless title?All are city code violations,HE and the city just ignore the North side!!Park some junk car in your yard on the west side or don't paint your house and see how long it takes to get the cities attention!!!!Come on Ted just get out and look around where you live and report these people to the city,make them clean and the city do what the taxes we already pay work for us to!!Vote No for all new taxes,and not just to stop the T but to make the city spend the money the way it should be!!!

stuckinthemiddle 9 years, 1 month ago

people wanted growth... they got it's time to pay for yes... on all three tax issues...or watch this entire city become a slum...

Eric Neuteboom 9 years, 1 month ago

To me, this issue boils down to several key points: - Increased usability. To date, I have heard zero about improving the currently inefficient routes. Give me a plan for addressing these shortcomings, Lawrence leaders! - Decreased waste. I would like to see the city invest in natural gas burning vehicles/buses instead of the diesel (?) burning dragons that are currently used. - A complete lack of faith and trust in the city leaders to properly manage funds, if said increase passes. They have not done a damn thing to earn the benefit of the doubt in my eyes. I have no faith that a "yes" vote will either keep or fix the current system.Sorry Lawrence, but my vote will be no.

mom_of_three 9 years, 1 month ago

then ese, i think you are living in the wrong place, since the government just bailed out wall street and banks. this is just about a little ole sales tax to keep public transportation.

Danimal 9 years, 1 month ago

Oh and CNA, quick history lesson. The University offered public transportation decades before the city did. If anything you should be upset with the city for introducing competition and muddling the system. There's no reason that the University should be expected to give up its efficient, cost-effective, and highly utilized bus system in favor of the city's broken down mess of a mass transit system. University buses get students where they need to go and back in a timely fashion and even run late so they don't have to drive drunk on the weekends. KU on Wheels is a wonderful program that serves those it was designed for and paid by. I've ridden both systems and the KU bus system is much nicer.

TS20twenty 9 years, 1 month ago

I missed the announcement about the meeting... was it in with my utility bill from the city?

Danimal 9 years, 1 month ago

Hey Coach, thanks for the link, that was informative. I know that Lawrence had had public transit back in the day but not how it had met its demise. I think we see much of the same pattern repeating itself.

CNA_Resident 9 years, 1 month ago

I voted 'no' on the bus issue, primarily after reading on Saturday that the KU Student transportation board REJECTED a merger with the 'T' late last week. This group of irresponsible kids are not supervised by faculty or staff at KU, and have run rampant for at least the last 10 years in their decisions to run a bus system catering to urban sprawl. Their latest stunt is completely contrary to the agreement in August to MERGE their system with the city's, and was reached after they learned they would NOT control either the buses or the routes under this merger. There are at least FIVE other midwest university-dominated cities similar to Lawrence, Kansas in size - all of which operate ONE bus system. Regardless of a tax hike, the 'T' cannot survive (let alone operate successfully) without student use of the bus system offered by the city. Why anyone thinks it's okay to run a parallel system in Lawrence, Kansas - unlike any other similar-sized college town, defies logic and explanation.... I am tired of the Pink Elephant being ignored in Lawrence public affairs, causing unbelievable impact on land use, public infrastructure, and now public transportation, with impunity and contempt for that impact. It's true- I'm advocating burning down the barn to get rid of the rats - because there doesn't appear to be any. other. way. to get rid of the attitude those young little rats up at KU have.Let THEM provide public transportation for the city.

Danimal 9 years, 1 month ago

The problem with Lawrence isn't the city commission, manager, police chief or anyone else. The problem is that we have a functionally retarded system of government. A rotating mayor, seriously? What's the guy that's only mayor for a year really supposed to accomplish? You can't get anything done in govt. done in a year except maybe an audit of your office supplies. Lawrence needs a directly elected mayor who is counterbalanced by a popularly elected city commission. This way we have the stability of a commission with the guidance and accountability of a directly elected executive. The current arrangement has worked out great for developers and the Commissioners themselves but few others.

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