Letters to the Editor

Hard to believe

May 19, 2010


To the editor:

Hard to believe that our Lawrence Chamber of Commerce refused to sign the letter in support of the 1-cent sales tax which will be so vital in keeping our public schools from hemorrhaging more — while at the same time, restoring funding for our frail elderly and disabled Kansans. Many chambers throughout our state signed onto the letter in support of this sales tax; not ours!

Hard to believe this was Lawrence — where the business community was once so supportive of our schools and always compassionate toward our most vulnerable citizens.


SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 7 months ago

Thank you, Lawrence Chamber of Commerce, for working to helop lower-income Lawrence residents who are punished most by sales tax increases. And thank you for standing behind Lawrence job-providers, their employees and their customers.

no_thanks 7 years, 7 months ago

I share Setting The Record Straight's comment. The decision by the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce was, in my opinion, a statement about being an anti-tax organization, not anti-education or against helping the frail and/or elderly.

no_thanks 7 years, 7 months ago

I share Setting TheRecord Straight's response. We are taxing our way to austerity. It is is time for our political leaders at all levels to reduce expenses, make the difficult decisions, and plan for the future. I view the Chamber's decision as being simply anti-tax and not anti-education or a decision to not help the frail and/or elderly.

jackson5 7 years, 7 months ago

But doesn't the Chamber support the TDDs and CIDs with impose up to 2% additional sales tax? It appears that the only difference in their policy is about who benefits from the tax collected. TDD and CID sales taxes go directly to developers while the state sales taxes support public programs.

avoice 7 years, 7 months ago

The one thing I've noticed about the folks who invoke "our most vulnerable citizens" these days is that they are as far out of touch with who and what is actually vulnerable than I would have dared to imagine a couple of years ago. These people, firmly ensconced in ivory towers of some sort, have not been adversely affected by the Great Recession. What little they have had to give up apparently makes them more and not less smug about their position as saviors of our society. And they don't, truly don't even realize the real sacrifices, pain and suffering that has been heaped upon many of their friends and neighbors. So they keep spouting off about how we all need to pony up more taxes, more fees, more donations for the "most vulnerable." Well, folks, anyone who is at the bottom of the middle class can tell you from personal experience that the people who are trying their best not to fall off the bottom into poverty level are currently the "most vulnerable citizens." That includes a large number of business owners who, by virtue of their insane ideas about fending for themselves instead of taking handouts, have been living at the poverty level for going on two years now, with no ability to draw unemployment, no bailouts, no subsidies. And if that doesn't sufficiently explain why business owners (Chamber of Commerce members) would be loath to endorse a 1% sales tax increase, then you need to get out of your ivory tower once in a while and meet the people who really drive this economy.

Jennifer Dropkin 7 years, 7 months ago

oneeye, you presume, and incorrectly so, to know what Hilda Enoch is like, what she has experienced, and what motivates her.

Lawrence's current chamber of commerce wants public support for its profit-makers, and the well-being of society doesn't interest it. Hilda's pointing out that the chamber used to know that caring about the welfare of all is in its best interests.

no_thanks 7 years, 7 months ago

I assure you gilly that the "profit makers" (most of which are not developers mind you) already pay most of the taxes in this community, and provide much more in private donations for the well-being of society than what the City Commission provides.

Increasing taxes is the politician's simplest solution to balancing a budget, but the need for more taxes is due to a misallocation of resources, not lack of dollars. For example, locally our police and fire departments deserve raises, but are likely to not receive one in order to allow outside agencies to continue receiving funding. All of these organizations are worthy, and their cause is just, but the problem I have is that the City Commission decides what organization is deserving of funds and which one isn't. The dollars are to limited to allow for a uniform distribution of funds to where all agencies could benefit. Isn't this unfair as well? Where is the City Commission's, or more succinctly, the communities compassion for the food pantries, Family Promise, or the many other entities that fail to receive funding? The fact is that citizens should bear the responsibility of helping their neighbors, not the City and County. At that point, you will find out what this community values as private dollars will be allocated to organization's rather than public funds. Family Promise of Lawrence is a great example of how such an organization works.

Jennifer Dropkin 7 years, 7 months ago

No thanks, I disagree with you: I think the city, being elected by the citizens, works as an agent of the citizenry--and that the welfare of all should be a paramount concern of the commission. Instead, the city commission funds the chamber of commerce, giving it more of the citizen's money than all of the helping organizations combined.

meggers 7 years, 7 months ago

I appreciate Ms. Enoch's sentiment, but she should know that the Chamber of Commerce)local, state, and federal) never supports tax increases, no matter how justified. The only welfare they suipport is corporate welfare.

mr_right_wing 7 years, 7 months ago

Turnips! Turnips! Turnips!

Thank you Chamber.

Education deserves our tax dollars; but when we have to tax dollars to give....again...

Turnips! Turnips! Turnips!

You are welcome to come back when we have more than just mere pennies in our wallets. Hear me one more time....

Turnips! Turnips! Turnips!

Richard Heckler 7 years, 7 months ago

The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce does NOT necessarily reflect the wishes of Lawrence business owners.

However they are very quick to support new business with a leg up against existing business by giving away OUR tax dollars away in a variety of big government corporate welfare abatements,rebates,Tax Increment Financing,CID's etc etc.

Lawrence Taxpaying Voters should weed out the city hall “Free Lunch” programs. The heart of the wealth transfer is tax increment financing (TIF). Schools, parks, recreation programs, and libraries are starved. City government would be far better served putting the money towards upgrades to local downtown mom and pop businesses.

Free Lunch" programs could be Tax Increment Financing,Tax abatements,Tax Rebates, CID etc etc Tax dollar money losers for sure. Brings on tax and user fee increases. http://www.democracynow.org/2008/1/18/free_lunch_how_the_wealthiest_americans

"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

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