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Letters to the Editor

Buyer beware

May 19, 2010

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To the editor:

The Lawrence City Commission will soon consider recently proposed Community Improvement Districts. The propriety of establishing special increased sales tax districts, up to an additional 2 percent, has become controversial.

Businesses in a special tax district should be required to post signs in clear view of consumers that state they will be paying a higher-than-normal sales tax rate. Consumer protection comes into play here. We want to avoid a business climate much like caveat emptor (buyer beware). It should be unethical for any business not to be totally upfront with all consumer charges.

Secondly, Lawrence has many available vacant spaces for conducting business, especially in older strip malls and other locations. Some of those vacancies occur when a business owner, for example, moves to a newer or more upscale mall where there is greater consumer traffic, potential for profit, etc. The City Commission might consider requiring those business owners and the business developer to pay the 1 or 2 percent special tax, or at least a portion of it, if the former abandoned business location later becomes a designated Community Improvement District within a certain specified period of time. Consider it a delayed cost of doing business. Those who profit should not avoid taxation. Consumers alone should not carry the special tax burden.

I hope our City Commission does not rush into approving Community Improvement Districts without first carefully considering innumerable variations on how it can be fairly structured, implemented and regulated.

Comments

cummingshawk 3 years, 11 months ago

Let me get this straight, your plan is to tax the business that moves? Stupid comes to mind, idiotic also rings a bell. Why should a business that is no longer on the premises pay for improvements for another business, maybe even a competitor? Obama tactics at work here, tax anybody who strives for self-improvement.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 11 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."

This makes one wonder how many taxes are being paid when shopping at Legend's????

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oneeye_wilbur 3 years, 11 months ago

Downtown Lawrence INC should be ashamed of themselves for not being the first to have the special sales tax. That money could be used for Downtown instead of the public at large continuing to subsidize each and every business downtown with free parking, free upkeep of the planters on Mass, free parking lot cleaning(not often though!) free money to subsidizen downtown events.

It is clear that the city commisson is obsessed with downtown and WHY?

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