Letters to the Editor

Tax relief

July 16, 2011


To the editor:

This is my reply to the July 3 Journal-World editorial “Tax assumptions.” I quote the seventh paragraph: “‘We have the legal authority to use it however we want,’ Mayor Aron Cromwell said last week. ‘But the moral authority I don’t think is there to use it for anything other than recreation.’”

This editorial is referencing the sales tax voted on by the citizens of Lawrence in November 1994 (with no sunset clause). Yes, this tax had four very specific parts, one of which was to reduce the ad valorem property tax levies as established by Douglas County.

If my memory serves me correctly, the mill levy was reduced by 0.2 of a mill in either 1995 or 1996 and nothing since then, as best I can determine. That is over 15 years ago!

As the above-mentioned editorial stated, some of the allocation to the major parts of the tax are winding down and will no longer require use of the tax. Also, the city is doing an excellent job on street improvement and other infrastructure and has no doubt used an adequate amount of the tax on recreation and beautification. I believe the time has come for using a substantial amount of the sales tax for the citizens, especially the senior citizens of Lawrence.

I do not agree with Mayor Cromwell that the city of Lawrence has the legal authority to use this tax as they desire.


cato_the_elder 6 years, 10 months ago

Amen to a superb letter. Mr. Stokes is absolutely correct in his analysis of the stated history of this tax. Sadly, however, many of us knew at the time that the promise that part of the tax would go toward reducing real estate property taxes was nothing but a ruse put forth in 1994 to get a countywide sales tax passed with the real goal of building a state-of-the-art swimming pool at the proposed new high school. This was done so that USD 497 could omit the cost of a new swimming pool from its bond proposal. Other than the one small mill levy reduction of which Mr. Stokes speaks, no such tax relief has occurred since then.

justforfun 6 years, 10 months ago

Why, "especially the senior citizens of Lawrence" why not everyone that has held residence in Lawrence????

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