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Archive for Wednesday, May 12, 2010

City approves special district tax

Policy would allow developers, businesses to charge additional 2% on sales

May 12, 2010

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City commissioners have opened the door to a new type of tax to be charged at future Lawrence retailers, and a development group along 23rd Street may soon walk through it.

Commissioners unanimously agreed to create a new policy that would allow developers and businesses to apply for special Community Improvement Districts where an additional 2 percent sales tax could be charged by businesses inside the district to pay for everything from buildings to janitors.

“As a city we either want to encourage investment and development here or we don’t,” said Commissioner Lance Johnson. “Just telling people we want development to happen here is not enough. In the times that we live in, we have to offer them tools. That’s what this would be.”

City leaders confirmed Tuesday night that one development group is ready to apply to create such a district on property near 23rd and Ousdahl that includes vacant property where the Kwik Shop and a Subway restaurant were located on the north side and the current Hobby Lobby store is on the south side.

Karl Capps with Mission-based MD Management said two restaurants are interested in going into the vacant locations, and that improvements need to be made to all the buildings. Creating a special taxing district to help provide for some of those costs would make the project more feasible. The group is proposing to charge an extra 1 percent tax instead of the full 2 percent allowed under the law. City commissioners are expected to formally receive the request within the next two weeks.

State legislators in 2009 approved a law giving cities the ability to allow the new type of taxing districts. Olathe, Hays, Salina, Wichita and Shawnee all have adopted regulations allowing the districts.

The districts are unique in that they will allow public tax dollars to pay for private business expenses. The state law allows the 2 percent in collections to pay for a variety of items including building construction, maintenance activities, security services, and more traditional public improvements such as streets and parking.

City commissioners, in a departure from the state law, will not allow developers to use city-issued general obligation bonds to finance the projects. Instead, developers will pay for the costs and be reimbursed as the sales tax dollars materialize.

Comments

Steve Jacob 4 years, 7 months ago

I hope business know if they do charge that 2%, some people will never go there, just out of spite.

imastinker 4 years, 7 months ago

I'm probably one of those people - but you think I am opposed to spending more money just out of spite?

avoice 4 years, 7 months ago

And some people will never go there because their families are trying their hardest to stay above the poverty line. They pinch every penny and keep a strict budget so they can somehow manage to keep up with their financial commitments and requirements. Go figure, that some spiteful and ungracious people would rather turn themselves inside out trying to get by in this economy than to do the sensible thing and give up and go on the dole so all those extra taxes can be justified by way of providing for the "vulnerable" citizenry.

geekyhost 4 years, 7 months ago

I'll never go there because it's a stupid location for a restaurant.

But the extra tax thing is beyond stupid. Just charge more for the food. Don't lie and pretend I'm paying the government when I'm really just paying you.

imastinker 4 years, 7 months ago

This is what bothers me about it. Most businesses lease and the property owners pay for janitorial and shared costs, or maybe they own and pay a fee similar to a HOA fee, but tacking taxes on like this is trying to trick customers who aren't paying attention about how much you are paying.

It's no different than renting a car at the airport and you find out that the $100/day car you rented is really $150/day because of concession fees, taxes, etc.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

How exactly does this help Lawrence taxpayers?

This WILL NOT alleviate the problem of an over loaded retail market.

A new business owned sales tax will not magically create more available retail dollars in our small retail community.

Will the owners of the sales tax pay a labor management fee to the city for doing their accounting?

Economic displacement will be business as usual.

George Lippencott 4 years, 7 months ago

Economic displacement is good. No business should be exempt from competition However, providing some buusinesses with my tax moiney and not others kind of puts a finger on the scales.

Who really benefits? The business, the taxpayer, the customers or the developers?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

We shouldn't need a list. That such a tax is being charged should be prominently displayed as you walk in the establishment, throughout the establishment, in the menu, and at the checkout stand. This should also apply at the Oread, where they have a 1% TIF tax.

But I see nothing in this article about any such requirement, and it shows exactly whose pockets these commissioners are in.

GardenMomma 4 years, 7 months ago

Especially since that 2% doesn't go anywhere but the developers' pockets. I won't be shopping there. I already avoid the other place in Lawence that has this "special" tax to defray the developers' costs.

usesomesense 4 years, 7 months ago

This is just plain silly. First of all - I'm glad to see that the City Commision isn't allowing the use of bonds to supplement private business developments (at least in this case).

If developers aren't confident enough that they will be able to make enough money from rent (or resale) of properties they invest in why should taxpayers foot the bill???

If (as in other areas) bonds were used and the development company went bankrupt we would all be paying the bill. That's just plain crazy.

I really don't see how this will be beneficial.

cavtrooper 4 years, 7 months ago

How outstanding! Truely wonderful! Yet another reason to NOT shop in Lawrence. I'll earn my dollars in Lawrence, But I'm going to try even harder not to spend them there. I'd love to find out the "developers" who will benifit from this so I can avoid any and all involvement with them. "Development" has trashed our local businesses, made Lawrence into a mini JoCo and sent us into a slow and painful tailspin of subrban mediocrity.

ModerateOne 4 years, 7 months ago

Good idea. You can spend your money to benefit developers from outside of Lawrence instead of developers inside Lawrence. Your actions will also help jobs outside of Lawrence and hurt jobs inside Lawrence. Then it will be even more expensive to live here and you will have to leave.

pfunk81 4 years, 7 months ago

You mean like the developers from Mission, not Lawrence?

BigPrune 4 years, 7 months ago

I just wonder if the state of Kansas will be paying for the new parking lot.

cowboy 4 years, 7 months ago

I heard the Kwik Shop dropped the lease because the owner tried to double the rent on that property. seems to me you would use this type of taxing to promote something unique , unusual , not another sub par restaurant on 23rd street.

Jonathan Becker 4 years, 7 months ago

OOOOOh, just what I wanted. More restaurant development on 23rd. If the City Commission were truly interested in more development, the Commission could approve rezoning to allow 4 not 2 new restaurants in the space. Or how about 8, 16, 32. Come on, City Commish, step up to the plate and put some oomph behind this palaver of platitudes. If you are going to do something stupid, do it on a grand scale.

Kent Shrack 4 years, 7 months ago

I drive out of my way to NEVER shop at the Special Tax location. I need to keep up on where the new ones will be so I can NEVER shop there either.

conservative 4 years, 7 months ago

Lawrence already has one of the highest tax rates in the state. Then the commission goes out of their way to keep big box stores from locating to lawrence. And then they can't understand why many residents spend their money in kc and topeka.

redmoonrising 4 years, 7 months ago

If ever a tax made no sense to me, this is the one. Ironic that this is in the same edition with the governor signing a new one cent sales tax into being. Three more cents from every dollar I spend here in Lawrence. We have to assume though that devlopers in other cities will take advantage of this as well, raising taxes there. Interesting that the first group to want it here is Mission-based. The question is, will they draw new business to Lawrence only to find that they have driven more local buyers away?

Chad Lawhorn 4 years, 7 months ago

Currently, there are two districts in town that charge a special sales tax. Wal-Mart at Sixth and Wakarusa is not one of them. They are: The retail area on the northeast corner of Sixth and Wakarusa. That includes the CVS, Taco Bell, and the retail building that is in between those two businesses. The Oread hotel also charges a special sales tax, as does the other businesses that are located inside the hotel building. Those two locations are able to charge the special sales tax under a different law called a Transportation Development District. The maximum special tax in those districts is 1 percent. That law does not allow the special tax to be used for private business operating expenses. The city does not yet have any districts under the new law. But, as we reported, an application is pending for one near 23rd and Ousdahl. We'll report more on that as the application comes before the commission. Chad Lawhorn Journal-World.

parrothead8 4 years, 7 months ago

This tax essentially goes to pay for "curb appeal" that will serve to bring customers into a business. Making your business and the area around it appealing to customers should be the job of the business, not the customers and the city.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Absolutely, but don't you think they raise prices to pay for it?

Of course, that's better, because you can see it easily, unlike this ridiculous tax.

HalsteadHawk 4 years, 7 months ago

"...special Community Improvement Districts where an additional 2 percent sales tax could be charged by businesses inside the district to pay for everything from buildings to janitors."

Meanwhile other businesses have to include expenses like "buildings and janitors" in their actual listed retail prices. So basically, the stores in this special "tax district" can hide 2% of their retail price from customers by disguising it as a tax. Nice.

I'll definitely be avoiding these places. I'm the kind of consumer that likes to see the actual price before I check out.

gccs14r 4 years, 7 months ago

With Hobby Lobby involved, I wonder if part of that tax would go to support the owner's church? That could lead to a constitutional question.

I'm all for spending locally to support local businesses, but I'm not in support of disguising operating expenses as a "tax."

anonyname 4 years, 7 months ago

I am all for investigating business ties to churches claiming tax immunity, but this wouldn't qualify. This tax would allow Hobby Lobby and others to spend less of their own money on operating expenses, and thus have more profits with which to do as they wish. Hobby Lobby's owner can use that money for whatever religious purpose he wishes, but there's no direct tie from the tax to religion.

I'm in complete agreement that disguising this as a tax is unfair to all the other local businesses.

gccs14r 4 years, 7 months ago

I don't think it has to be a direct tie. Freeing up operating expenses to turn them into profit that then goes to a prohibited recipient should be just as illegal as giving the funds directly.

John Hamm 4 years, 7 months ago

And where is the requirement that the businesses charging this extra tax must inform the customer? another boondoggle from CH!

bd 4 years, 7 months ago

Joes Crab Shack??? Hooters??? Olive Garden??? Denny's

CLARKKENT 4 years, 7 months ago

2% SPECIAL TAX, 2% HIGHER STATE TAX THAN MISSOURI. WOW, 4% CAN REALLY ADD UP. WAY TO GO COMMISH, DRIVE US AWAY.

hipper_than_hip 4 years, 7 months ago

Washington DC has extra taxes for certain areas, and all the cash registers have a placard on the front breaking down what all the extra tax is for. It would be a good idea to have a similiar requirement for businesses in the special tax district here.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Please write to the city commissioners and express your disapproval of this idea, and your intent to boycott any businesses which use this tax.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Also, perhaps we could somehow start a list of these businesses and circulate it so that we can all know which ones are involved.

thefactsare 4 years, 7 months ago

Do you boycott the areas in Topeka, Johnson County and Missouri that have special taxing districts? They are everywhere and those areas do not require notification signs. Why do you bash everything done in this community and never have ideas of what could be done?

somedude20 4 years, 7 months ago

I love this one folks! Hey lets pay some giant a* corporation to come to town, set up shop and then charge us for the products that they are selling that we paid them to sell to us. That would be like that Harbor Lights charging a dollar cover (with no bands playing) just to have the privilege to pay for their products, wait they already do that. Sht!!!!!!

pizzapete 4 years, 7 months ago

Too funny! Have to agree with you. To be fair though other bars do the same thing on Thurs night. Pay a cover for the drink special? I stopped going there years ago for that very reason. Let the boycott begin.

d_prowess 4 years, 7 months ago

I know the main reason for this article was to drive discussion about these special taxes, but I am more interested in what bd and pfunk81 are posting.

What restaurants are currently missing from that part of 23rd street that would be interested? I am thinking a Popeye's would be more likely than the type of places bd suggests because the two buildings are fairly small as is and would almost have to be torn down and built from scratch to accommodate those kinds of places.

Janet Lowther 4 years, 7 months ago

For this to work out, the businesses would have to offer products which are not readily available elsewhere.

I'll pay the extra percent at Cabella's, but not at Nebraska Furniture Mart., 'cause there are plenty of furniture, appliance and floor covering stores which don't have the extra tax.

Of course our total sales tax is getting out of hand as it is. . .

Why they didn't even consider the income tax to balance the budget, I don't know, 'cause the Feds would effectively pay a quarter of it. . .

Clark Coan 4 years, 7 months ago

Why doesn't the ordinance require that businesses post large signs warning customers that there is an extra 2% tax? Unsuspecting shoppers are going to get slammed.

pfunk81 4 years, 7 months ago

Isn't this taxation without representation? C'mon LJW knowitalls, explain this one. Where's all the teabaggers? I saw barry earlier, where's Tom? Oh wait Obama had nothing to do with this one, I forgot. I won't spend money at any of these places, unless its Popeyes.

geekyhost 4 years, 7 months ago

In-N-Out is strictly west coast, but they're about the only fast food joint I'd be happy about moving into town. They actually PAY their employees, and they make the food out of food and not a truckload of pre-frozen crap.

RogueThrill 4 years, 7 months ago

Were are all the folks decrying a government intrusion into the free market now?

How in the world are we supposed to hold private business owners accountable for what they do with our "tax" dollars?

ferrislives 4 years, 7 months ago

Please tell me, how is this not unconstitutional?

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

How is economic displacement good for any local economy? It produces negative economic growth.

no_thanks 4 years, 7 months ago

In economics its what Schumpter called creative destruction. Much to the dismay of many on this board, businesses exist to maximize profits, that is, to maximize what their efforts by acting in their own best interests. In order for a business to survive the inevitable erosion in the profitability of its products or services, it must constantly focus on making certainn that what they are providing is of value to consumers. Profitable markets will always attract competition who believe they can provide the product or service cheaper, but they do so at their risk. The tax, and let me be clear I am anti-tax, frankly, puts the new business at a disadvantage, unless they can demonstrate greater incrmental value than the 2% tax surcharge.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

That's only true if everyone informs themselves of which businesses are using it.

Given the lack of requirements to post that information where it's easily available, I predict that many will simply be unaware of the tax, which is the reason they let them do it this way, imho.

George Lippencott 4 years, 7 months ago

New business replaces old, tired, and no longer competitive business. Good. Does not cost the city or the taxpayers anything.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

"We pay billions of dollars in taxes that never get to the government." Much of the sales tax we pay at big box stores and shopping centers is diverted to the large companies that own the stores. It's just one of the many swindles these chains have learned to perpetrate against city and county governments. This is so effective that the Cabela family, which owns a chain of big-box sporting goods stores, receives 137% of its profits from taxpayer subsidies. If they couldn't work this scam, they wouldn't be in business at all.

The heart of the wealth transfer is tax increment financing (TIF). Store owners come to town leaders and offer to build a new store that, they promise, will "create jobs." In exchange, the city gives them the land, builds the store to their specifications, and finances it all with tax-free municipal bonds (which are usually held by associates of the store owners). To cap it all, the store keeps the sales tax generated in the store to pay off the bond holders. If the store is built on government land, it's also exempt from paying any property taxes.

Why do city governments take such a blatantly bad deal?

http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

George Lippencott 4 years, 7 months ago

Well I just do not understand how my normal sales taxes go to "big box stores"? Please explain this post with some primary source facts not blatant propaganda

geekyhost 4 years, 7 months ago

But where will you go shopping for your "Testa-mints?"

Jay Keffer 4 years, 7 months ago

Why are you such a religious bigot? So much for the vaunted tolerance you profess. Why so much hatin'??

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

More local big government corporate welfare.....

Basic findings:

  1. Lawrence is overbuilt in housing: Homes were built faster than popualtion growth supporting these homes. Excessive subdivisions caused an outmigration from older neighborhoods causing a severe loss of value, a loss of dwelling units, and a variety of other problems such as school closings.

  2. Lawerence is overbuilt in retail: Stores were built faster than retail spending growth supporting these stores. This excessive growth has hurt the public and private investment in downtown redevelopment (e.g.: the empty $8 million parking garage, the empty Hobbs-Taylor space, etc.) and has caused deterioration and blight in existing shopping centers (e.g.: Tanger Mall, Food-for-Less, etc.)

  3. Douglas County is overbuilt in manufacturing and warehousing; employment in these sectors is declining, not growing. Yet, the Chamber calls for more and more space in the false belief that more supply creates more demand.

  4. Office space in Douglas County is relatively well balanced, but the market for office space is severely crippled by the excessive supply of unused retail space which is competing for office tenants.

Basic strategy:

Lawrence should adopt a policy of "cooling off" the pace of development. Note: This is not a moratoriam; it is a consicous effort to redirect growth to existing neighborhoods and districts where it can be beneficial.

Housing: The city should stop approving new subdivisions until the existing supply of surplus homes is eliminated. It should direct housing investment back into older neighborhoods so as to preserve and protect the existing public and private investment there.

Commercial space: The city should stop approving plans for new commercial space until the existing surplus is eliminated. It should direct investment into the preseration of the downtown and other existing commercial districts so as to preserve and protect the existing publid and private investment there.

Kirk McClure – Lawrence,Kansas

Education Ph. D., City Planning, University of California, Berkeley, Department of City and Regional Planning, 1985. Concentrations in Housing Economics and Public Finance.

Master in City Planning, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Urban Studies and Planning, 1978. Specialization in Housing Policy Analysis.

Bachelor of Arts, University of Kansas, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, 1974. Special Major in Urban Studies.

George Lippencott 4 years, 7 months ago

Yes, move all government investment(???) to where merrill has interests. Punish those who bought homes west of Iowa. Protect the old guard.

What is in this for me???

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

First, government is not set up primarily in order to help George Lippincott.

Second, all of the items mentioned above have a negative impact on Lawrence residents - we have numerous empty houses, office spaces, etc.

Third, sprawl doesn't pay for itself, and has a negative impact on the environment.

The ideas above, if implemented, would improve the quality of life in Lawrence by reducing empty spaces and reducing sprawl. They would still allow for improvement and investment.

George Lippencott 4 years, 7 months ago

Jafs

Just though I would play the ME card so popular hereabouts. We are talking about "government" intrusion in the market - the me actually was all us taxpayers and citicens. When the government intrudes there are winners and losers. I am concerned that we (taxpayers) will be the losers and a bunch of "developers" will be the winners.

For all those who argue for the "free market" how do you justify this?

See response below aboyt th actual initiative and my concerns

Danimal 4 years, 7 months ago

I don't see how this could be legal. Business owners outside of these areas should start a class action suit to get this malarkey thrown out. This just sounds like a bunch of fat, rich developers have found another way to outsource normal business expenses.

GardenMomma 4 years, 7 months ago

Anyone know who bankrolled the commissioners' campaigns? Just curious. This really sounds like a kickback.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

This is a very very very sweet and creative tax abatement in my estimation.

Tax abatements do not attract firms or retain business. The enforcement of tax abatements in Lawrence is shameful with the majority of abated firms failing to perform as promised and the City doing nothing. It makes Lawrence the laughing stock of site selection officers. Yet our employee, the Chamber of Commerce, continues to advocate for this failed program.

We have to wonder why someone is sponsoring a modification that will not fix the problems with the policy. Rather than weak modifications, we should be scraping the policy and engaging in real economic development and smarter growth.

Kirk McClure

Richard Heckler 4 years, 7 months ago

The real estate/Developer/banking community and Chamber put this group in office. They spent the most money and the people voted for the big spenders as usual. Why do voters do this?

And a whole lot of voters stayed home which changes nothing and makes nothing better. Why did it become cool to ignore local politics and NOT vote?

There are a lot of details missing in this article is my feeling. However it will require a lot of details to sweeten this tricky rebate/abatement.

Bob_Keeshan 4 years, 7 months ago

Lance Johnson has decided the free market, for lack of a better term, sucks.

I'm guessing the city's next move will be to create "Special Property Tax Districts" where you can build a home and pay a special property tax to be used towards maids and gardeners.

Dispersant 4 years, 7 months ago

Why would anyone want to eat at a corporate fast food fried chicken chain? (KFC, Popeye's, etc). Do you know what goes on in those restaurants? Not to mention what happens to the chickens before, during and after they're killed.

I'd prefer to get it at Wheatfield's, Checker's or just make it myself. It's easy.

GardenMomma 4 years, 7 months ago

This isn't helping anyone but the developers. It doesn't help schools or buses or keep anyone employed. It goes to the developers so that they can follow the requirements of providing adequate infrastructure for the buildings they are developing!

If the business needs to pay for its building or janitors, raise the prices or find some other way to increase sales (or decrease costs) but you don't get a special dispensation in the form of a sales tax!

Geez, it's going to cost me some money to drive my car because I have to have insurance, can I get a percentage of all gas sold at the station near my house to help defray my insurance costs?

Dispersant 4 years, 7 months ago

If those businesses on the north side of 23rd (across from Hobby Lobby) use this tax to fix their parking lots, I wouldn't mind paying the tax!

usesomesense 4 years, 7 months ago

This whole concept is seriously flawed. With the state sales tax increase these places will be over 10%!

Essentially what the developer is doing is forcing the tennant to be a 'partner' with them - giving them 1% of their gross sales off the top! I'd say if that's what they want to do then they should make no bones about it and just put it in the lease instead of making the government collect it and give it to the developer.

The simple matter of it is this: if you aren't sure if the boat you want to build will float you probably shouldn't build it. The notion of letting the city/county/state take a portion of the risk is simply absurd. This is a stepping stone to government subsidization of development projects and a BAD precedent.

If the area is a blight the city should issue notice to the property owner to take care of it or risk condemnation. This is just another way to make the cost of renting a business property harder to understand - an extension of triple net leasing where ambiguous taxes and fees are referenced in the lease that actually add up to a lot. It makes the lease payment appear lower than what will actually get paid.

This is also open to a real potential problem. If a company provides destination based goods or services (like a florist that delivers almost all of what they sell) the sales tax is based on where they deliver it to - not where the store is. If the city government subsidized the construction they would see virtually no return on it.

thefactsare 4 years, 7 months ago

All of the naysayers should really READ the ordinance and understand what it says. It's allowing areas to be redeveloped and to clean up some of the eye-sores that we have around town. There has to be a good reason for the business owner or development group to ask for the special tax and it's not AUTOMATIC! When a business or group of businesses decides that they want to become a CID then they have to apply to the City and it has to be approved. It doesn't happen overnight and it's a very public process whereby you will get your chance to object. Furthermore, you'll know what businesses charge the tax and if you choose not to shop there, then that's your choice. Also, this is state-wide legislation that allows for the CID areas, be mad at your state legislators. The City Commission actually added this policy and made it more restrictive then what the state allows so you should be thanking them for adding restrictions to our local policy.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 7 months ago

"Furthermore, you'll know what businesses charge the tax and if you choose not to shop there, then that's your choice."

Maybe some will. But unless there is a requirement that customers are clearly informed of this extra tax before they make their purchase, I'd say a very high percentage of customers will be deceived about what they're actually being charged.

And why should it be up to the state to collect and then disperse these defacto price increases? Shouldn't the state get a cut of this to cover their expenses of facilitating this?

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

If the areas that will be affected are those that are in blighted neighborhoods, then the people with the least money will now have to pay more than other people in town.

Doesn't seem quite right to me.

As part of the regulations, the city should definitely also have included the requirement to post this tax prominently so all customers can see it before patronizing the businesses.

George Lippencott 4 years, 7 months ago

Many of us know that the state legislature never met a business interest it did not support (most local legislators excepted).

My concern remains the insertion of "government" into the market to the benefit of some and the loss of others. Absent a compelling social interest, I believe this bodes no good – worse it seems to be growing – more special interests.

I also have a concern that once the "government" does insert itself it rarely asks for an ROI. For example, if I allow you a special levy on development than I want to share in the profits (at least until I recover the money "loaned").

I have a fear that this approach as applied here will yield some new "boxes" that will also fail, because the additional charges will drive away customers. The developers walk away with an unshared "profit" while the rest of us ultimately have to deal with the empty "boxes".

Mari Aubuchon 4 years, 7 months ago

What about 6th and Wak, then? There were no eyesores there, unless you count fields...

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

The state statute is KSA 12-6A31 and states that municipalities MAY use such a tax UP TO 2%.

The city could have chosen not to use it at all.

Kontum1972 4 years, 7 months ago

so what else is new in town..besides the potholes?

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Yes, and if they want to recover it through charging higher prices, then we all will be easily aware of that, unlike this hidden charge.

Dispersant 4 years, 7 months ago

'chicken is chicken'.....OK.

I chose this video because it was put out by Pamela Anderson. She is 'hot'. Just like Sarah Palin is 'hot'.

'Hot': the new standard for American leadership!

TopJayhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

I don't justify it through 'free market."
This is not free market, this is socialist, no it is just the good ol boy system at it's finest. It is not free market.

TopJayhawk 4 years, 7 months ago

I have not heard of this happening in Topeka. But maybe I havn't been paying attention. Anyone with info on this tell me, I will boycot them just as I do Lawrence. I like Lawrence, I just ain't paying extra taxes for the privaledge of shopping there.

jafs 4 years, 7 months ago

Having written our city commissioners (which I hope many of you have also done), I have learned the following:

2 of them stated to me that the city is being more restrictive than the state law, and implied that they couldn't simply not use this tax at all.

The relevant statute is KSA 12-6A31, and states that municipalities MAY use such a tax, and in fact authorizes the use of UP TO 2%.

So the city could have simply chosen not to use this at all, or it could have approved a smaller amount of tax, or (I believe) chosen to require businesses using it to notify customers.

This really makes me mad.

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