Archive for Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Lawrence commissioners hold the line on taxes, fees

City commissioners Tuesday approved a new budget for next year. The budget did not include several tax increases that were expected and cut one tax increase to less than originally projected.

July 28, 2010


The city’s work to create a budget for 2011 ended Tuesday just like it began: without even a hint of increasing the city’s property tax rate.

City commissioners approved a $167.1 million budget that will hold the city’s property tax mill levy steady at 26.6 mills. Commissioners also rejected proposed increases in monthly sewer and water rates.

“When this economic downturn is done, Lawrence is going to be the leader in the state because we have our ducks in a row and we have our spending in order,” Mayor Mike Amyx said.

Among the major decisions included in the budget are:

• 11 city positions will be eliminated from the city’s payroll, but all will come through attrition rather than layoffs. The cuts include five solid waste positions, two parks and recreation positions, two in public works and one in information technology.

• Major capital improvement projects funded for 2011 include: rebuilding Iowa Street from Yale to Bob Billings Parkway; repaving and widening parts of Sixth Street from Massachusetts to Iowa and Monterey to Folks; rebuilding Kasold from Clinton Parkway to 31st Street; and about $3 million worth of unspecified infrastructure improvements related to the city purchasing the former Farmland Industries property and converting it into a business park. The budget also includes about $970,000 to buy a new quint fire engine.

• The budget for the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce will increase by $34,000 to increase its marketing efforts. The city intends for the money to be used to better market the Farmland Industries business park and new bioscience incubators in west Lawrence.

• Funding for other outside agencies that receive city funding was held basically steady at 2010 levels.

• Rates for trash service will go up 70 cents per month for standard residential customers. The increase will help cover higher tipping fees that the city will be charged by the area’s landfill operator.


SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 7 months ago

"...without even a hint of increasing the city’s property tax rate. "

Yet the commissioners have already voted to put a property tax hike on the November ballot.

jafs 7 years, 7 months ago

Isn't that better - letting us vote on it rather than simply raising it?

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 7 months ago

Absolutely not.

I want a tax decrease put to the voters.

jafs 7 years, 7 months ago

So you'd rather they not let us vote on any increases?

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 7 months ago

That is correct. I oppose allowing 50.01% of the population to impose its spending wishes on the minority. We have a representative democracy, not a direct democracy. You feel differently?

Tom Pfeiler 7 years, 7 months ago

We should be taxing people who purchase their 3rd flat screen TV and build their 4th car garage(etc...)....we should be taxing excess...I don't think we're doing that well at all....we should be taxing superabundance....if you are not reinvested, you are superabunded! If you know what I mean anyway....

Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

After attending the July 27 city commission on a fact finding adventure. What was discovered is that Outside for a Better Inside = housing project that is to be accompanied by a $40 - $50 million tax dollar athletic project money hole. Yes were talking a $25 million tax dollar field house plus a softball field plus parking lots plus landscaping that is to be built on some of the new USD 497 land purchase.

I say a lot of people are not being honest with the taxpayers!

Outside for a Better Inside is the disguise to get : new roads a new public school extending sewer and water lines to the sprawling development extending emergency services to the fringe more LPD staff will be necessary this list can get long and expensive * the sports facilities will likely be run quietly through the park dept budget... spending sales tax money that could fund the library project or for rebuilding sidewalks in the older neighborhoods.

I suggested that the taxpayers need to be informed about what exactly is the plan. We won't hear much about the new housing projects as this will come along as the surprise. BUT why would anyone want to build all of this in the middle of nowhere? New residential is a drag on our economy and will not generate enough revenue to cover the cost new residential demands from city hall = tax increases.

My comment was let the taxpayers vote on this! We're being duped again. The library rehab project is pocket change compared to what this will cost the taxpayers.

Are there plans to allow the taxpayers to vote on a new money hole? Likely not. It seems we get to vote on projects the city government hopes will fail. Or projects they have little interest.

Lawrence,Kansas has become a tax dollar money hole due to the reckless growth patterns/decisions of local governing bodies.

Why does Lawrence,Kansas have economic displacement instead of economic growth?

The continued pattern of over build = wreckanomics.

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