Archive for Monday, February 16, 2009

Commissioners OK fee for use of county treasurer’s satellite offices

February 16, 2009


Soon Douglas County taxpayers who pay motor vehicle taxes at the treasurer’s satellite offices will have to pay a $2 fee.

County Treasurer Paula Gilchrist had recommended the fee increase last year to help offset the cost of operating two satellite offices in Lawrence and one in Baldwin City. Gilchrist has estimated the fee would generate $100,000 in revenue to run the offices at 2108 W. 27th St.; inside Dillons at 3000 W. Sixth St.; and at the Baldwin City Market.

The state allows a maximum $5 fee at satellite locations, and Douglas County has never charged one before.

County commissioners last year had approved the fee increase because they said taxpayers could avoid the fee by making their motor vehicle tax payments at the Douglas County Courthouse, 1100 Mass. Because new commissioners Nancy Thellman and Jim Flory are now in office, administrators wanted to get their OK on the fee increase, and all three commissioners supported it on Monday.

Gilchrist said the satellite fee would likely begin in March. Her office will put up signs soon at the satellite offices to notify taxpayers.

County commissioners on Monday also appointed Shirley Martin-Smith to serve on the Lawrence-Douglas County Health Board. The Lawrence City Commission had previous supported her appointment.


hawkperchedatriverfront 5 years, 2 months ago

I am shocked at Gilchrist for even thinking about this. She had a meeting with some folks for ways to improve the department. This was never an idea. This is stupid. If the fee were to be charged, why not charge it at the courthouse, so that the satellite offices would be used.

How much is the county paying rent for the offices? That is the question? Why don't the county commissioners put this in print and the landlords, Dillons, owners of the 27th street property have their rental contracts reviewed.

This is another attempt to get more money to open another satellite office.

Paula, you should be ashamed of yourself. What happened to the mobile site, i.e. township fire stations ?

Tea party is correct. Take the screaming kids to the courthouse, where there is no place to sit down, And then for all the waiting you get a tootisie roll or some piece of candy, Even the water fountain is pathetic .

Fee? What is the fee really for? Salaries being paid, seem to be enough of a fee.

This is another example of the Welcome Mat letter to the editor , an example of what is wrong with Lawrence.

The state allows a fee of $5.00. And you wonder why the state is screwed up. Fees, and no more taxes. That is what "no more taxes' means.

$100,000 to run a satellite office. how come the J/W doesn't have the guts to get the numbers , all of them, of where the money goes. Names, salaries, supplies, everything, rent, RENT.


Benjamin Roberts 5 years, 2 months ago

Although the article does not state it (surprise, LJW fails to answer who, what, when, where, why, and how), my guess is that this will be much more than $2.00. Most people complete more than one transaction at a time; and, I doubt that this is a one time fee - it will be for each transaction. I renew four tags every year. That will cost me $8.00 for the privilege of reducing the workload of county employees at the courthouse.

The satellite offices are also a matter of convenience for the county. It is doubtful that the courthouse office could handle all of the transactions if citizens choose to “tea party” this $2.00 fee and only renew at the courthouse.

How long will it be before the courthouse will be considered a “satellite” location since tags can be renewed by mail?

This fee also seems discriminatory. It is being applied, this year, only to those with last names beginning with the letters C to Z. Those beginning with A or B have not been charged the fee.


cheeseburger 5 years, 2 months ago

Is that $2 per visit, or $2 per vehicle?


beobachter 5 years, 2 months ago

It's worth $2 not to have to go downtown.


ronwell_dobbs 5 years, 2 months ago

Really? Someone's gonna fuss about paying for added convenience? Anyone who wants to avoid the $2 to have the transaction completed in Baldwin City could instead spend at least 45 minutes to/from drive time, probably $2 in gas (at current prices), $0.25 in parking meter costs if they find the fee exhorbitant.

I think this is a responsible act on the part of Ms. Gilchrist. I'm thankful to have a satellite office down here in B.C.


cowboy 5 years, 2 months ago

I remember the long lines and waits before the satellite offices were opened.... now you want to charges us more . time for a tea party!


DonQuipunch 5 years, 2 months ago

Government at its best. Perhaps I can delay paying their new "tax fine" by explaining to them that I am having a budget shortfall. Turnabout being fair play and all.


Eybea Opiner 5 years, 2 months ago

They're taxing you on your tax payment.


Commenting has been disabled for this item.