Archive for Monday, July 18, 2011

Lawrence’s latest economic development initiative: Attract older folks to settle here

July 18, 2011


A little gray may be golden for Lawrence.

At least that’s what community leaders want to find out. City commissioners at their Tuesday meeting will consider creating a task force to help Lawrence become a destination for retirees looking for new homes.

“I tell you, there isn’t a business in this country growing faster than Baby Boomers Inc.,” said Hank Booth, who is leading the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce’s Senior Council.

The council is recommending the creation of a joint city-county Senior-Retiree Attraction Task Force. The idea has some support on the City Commission.

“It is a booming market,” said City Commissioner Hugh Carter, who has been working with the chamber on the topic. “They would bring a lot of experience and wisdom to the community, and they could be a big help to philanthropy.”

Plus, a new report put together by the chamber says attracting retirees could be a significant form of economic development. The report cites a state of Georgia study that found when a retired couple moves into a community it has the same impact on the economy as 3.8 manufacturing jobs. The chamber’s report also cites national statistics that say people 50 years old or older own:

• 77 percent of the country’s personal financial assets.

• 80 percent of all savings deposits.

• 50 percent of all corporate stocks.

And they make 48 percent of all domestic automobile purchases.

The report, however does note some potential drawbacks to creating a larger base of retirees. Concerns about whether retirees would vote for additional school bond issues, and the potential for health care services to be strained by individuals who have outlived their health care coverage are two of the larger concerns.

But Booth said a task force would look for ways to target affluent retirees who would produce more benefits than costs to a community.

The task force also would study ways to market the community — targeting Kansas University alumni would be a major strategy — and would look at how other cities across the country have grown their retiree population.

“What I really would want the task force to do is get all of this information tied together so we have a plan for making Lawrence and Douglas County the most attractive retirement community in the Kansas City metro area or in the state of Kansas,” Booth said.

Carter — who previously managed an assisted living facility in California — also said the task force will have to look at what areas Lawrence is lacking when it comes to retirees. He said more housing types that are suitable for retirees probably would be a significant issue.

Funding at some point also may become an issue. Booth said ultimately money to market the program could be needed, but neither Carter or Booth said any immediate funding was required to study the issue. When money is needed, Carter said he has seen other communities successfully raise private money to fund marketing efforts.

“There certainly are groups that would benefit from having more retirees here, and probably would jump at the opportunity to be on the front end of that effort,” Carter said.

City commissioners meet at 6:35 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.


Mike Hatch 6 years, 9 months ago

Unless they've lived here for decades and have long since paid off their houses they bought in the 50s-70s, many seniors couldn't afford to retire here.

friendlyjhawk 6 years, 9 months ago

Oh my, I have lived here for years but would not, repeat would not, encourage seniors to live here. Too much taxing, not enough decent moderate to low income housing that doesn't touch on student rental property. They are no more interested in living around us then we are about living around them. This is a stupid idea and should be throw away quickly.

Alceste 6 years, 9 months ago

Sorry, but YOU DON'T GET IT: "WE" only want RICH OLD PEOPLE!!!!

John Hamm 6 years, 9 months ago

That's correct - "Only affluent should apply to live in Lawrence."

Steve Jacob 6 years, 9 months ago

Um, have you guys seen the numbers? Lawrence is getting older, quickly. Why do you think we are closing schools? The 30 somethings are leaving and we are adding retirees.

del888 6 years, 9 months ago

I agree this is a stupid idea. I am over 50 and would not recommend this town to anyone. But it makes sense to 'target' the boomers because there are not enough tech jobs to target the younger population. If you are under 30 in this town, your choice is customer service at the local (fill in the blank), bank teller, fast food, cashier. There are no computer programming, science and technology, etc etc. If you're under 30 you can hope for $12.50 per hour (on the high side), or you can drive to KC and get a real job.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 6 years, 9 months ago

Where in the hell do you find those $12.50 an hour jobs, or for that matter any job that there is not 100 applicants for that the prospective employer will pay only $7.00 an hour for???? I have been looking since October.

jhawkinsf 6 years, 9 months ago

I moved back "home" after years away. Always loved Lawrence. It might be hard to attract seniors who have no previous connections to the city/area. But keeping retirees here and getting seniors to come home seems like a laudable goal.

oldvet 6 years, 9 months ago

Totally agree here... I graduated from KU, then moved around the country for military and business opportunities for 35 years. We finally got to a point where it didn't matter where we lived and we decided to come back to KU. We love KU, the campus opportunities, the sports and the environment. Yes, and even the students. I could see more people from my generation moving back to Lawrence and I would recommend it as a great place to live, with one exception - taxes. Real estate taxes are high and going higher. In all of the magazine articles talking about the best places for seniors to live, the tax structure is one of the key things. While the sales taxes are high and the income tax rates are not the lowest, it is the uncontrolled real estate taxes that impact us the most. Solve this and you may very well see an influx of new residents.

Alceste 6 years, 9 months ago

I suppose you don't live anywhere near a student, however? They're slobs; have a wanton sense of entitlement;and will attack your property, if not yourself. Shut down KU and maybe then Lawrence will once again be at peace with the World......

oldvet 6 years, 9 months ago

I'm living closer to more students than you could imagine...

Shut down KU and Lawrence will become a slum suburb of Eudora.

Alceste 6 years, 9 months ago

I'd rather deal with real people than arrogant little twits! Bring it.....

verity 6 years, 9 months ago

I've lived next door to many students and never had a bit of trouble. Friendly and helpful for the most part, certainly never destructive. But then, I was a good neighbor and friendly to them.

crimsonlaugh 6 years, 9 months ago

Maybe the task force should focus on getting rid of crabby, ridiculous "citizens" who do nothing more than try to bring this city down.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

The Lawrence Chamber of Commerce never changes. One sales pitch after the other. All they have in mind is selling more houses in a market that is slower than than molasses in winter. The voices are the same voices for the past 25 years. Voices of real estate investors that want tax dollar incentives aka handouts.

Granted there are a lot of homes in Lawrence that have no owners yet more are being built. WHY?

The $20 million USD 497 sports project was about selling homes. The $15 million west side rec center is about selling homes. Has the Chamber forgotten that it was a reckless nationwide housing project that took the nations economy down the tubes. The Wellness project put up by the Chamber not that long ago was about selling homes.

It cost a lot of money to live in this town for not having oceans,mountains/ski slopes,perfect weather 24/7 and not offering high paying employment.

Who wants to relocate to low wage heaven retired or not? = higher taxes and fees to support inflated cost of living.

Who wants to relocate to over priced homes that will be worth less tomorrow?

Nothing but tons and tons of speculation = no substance.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Developers and cars are two very expensive budget items. Both want roads.

More streets = more cars = more people = more tax increases!

Developers reckless planning consistently increasing our tax liabilities instead of promoting tax reductions IS my concern:

*$200,000,000(million) trafficway is about selling more homes aka pork barrel project not about improving our quality of life. How will more and more traffic improve our quality of life?

*$100,000,000 (million) sewage treatment plant

  • miles and miles of new infrastructure = higher tax dollar demand

*Houses - If residential growth paid for itself we would not be in a budget crunch. With increased numbers of houses you have increased demand on services. Historically revenues generated by residential housing do not pay for the services they require from a municipality.

Thus increased taxes and user fees to cover the cost of maintaining: water and sewer lines streets public schools fire & emergency med stations law enforcement manpower snow removal cross walks Traffic Control Parks etc etc etc

Forget tax dollar handouts ,increased taxes and user fees. Demand impact fees to cover the entire cost of all new development.

Housing projects cost considerably more to maintain than a “Better T”, biking options, excellent walking options and a new library all of which serve thousands of the general public. More walking and biking options encourage citizens to leave vehicles at home thus less healthier more alert bodies = fiscally prudent investment.

Vermont Street library location makes excellent use of an existing resource= fiscally responsible approach.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago


More walking and biking options encourage citizens to leave vehicles at home thus healthier more alert bodies = fiscally prudent investment.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Not only that Governor Brownback does not support Social Security or Medicare. Brownback is no secret nationwide.

Guess what? Brownback is working against the local Chamber of Commerce hmmmmmmm. The Chamber should take up recall proceedings.

"The chamber’s report also cites national statistics that say people 50 years old or older own:

• 77 percent of the country’s personal financial assets.

• 80 percent of all savings deposits.

• 50 percent of all corporate stocks.

And they make 48 percent of all domestic automobile purchases. "

Hey these people sound like the upper 1% who want to live in San Diego and sail to Cabo San Lucas once or twice a month on their own yachts. Which BTW is a beautiful 7 day journey if one does not mind dolphins swimming along side.

We Lawrence taxpayers are about to get duped again.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 9 months ago

This is a two-dimensional idea. No depth. Why would seniors want to come to Lawrence? Many seniors, including myself, are wondering if we want to stay. Before we get carried away with this, someone better survey seniors who are here and investigate what other communities are doing. We are not looking for the same services and amenities as college students. Some of my issues have already been mentioned: 1. There is a constant worry that our neighborhood will be overrun by college students during our lifetime. 2. We buy our clothing at Weavers, online, or out of town. 3. We do not enjoy walking around restaurants and drinking establishments on Mass. St. 4. Driving in Lawrence is scary. Public transportation is minimal. 5. We do not play basketball and do not need or cannot use recreation centers or bike trails. 6. Real estate is pricey and neighborhoods are not well maintained. 7. We are cautious with our retirement funds. Is the chamber thinking they will recruit more affluent retirees and ignore the rest of us? 8. Medical facilities are adequate but it's problematic getting to the KU Med Center. And how does one get to topeka to get a vehicle adapted and then to K.C. for installation? 9. If we do not drive, how would we get around town to spend the money the chamber seems to think we have? 10. And, then, there are the politics. Given the current attitude in Kansas towards Medicaid, Medicare, and and health insurance, in general, the state of Kansas may be the deciding factor for many seniors.

Alceste 6 years, 9 months ago

  1. We are cautious with our retirement funds. Is the chamber thinking they will recruit more affluent retirees and ignore the rest of us?


Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 9 months ago

and the potential for health care services to be strained by individuals who have outlived their health care coverage +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ Here it is... What the health care/insurance industry (Business) wont tell you, but is there bottom line. Many of us call these "Death Panels".

Moved_On 6 years, 9 months ago

Once a bedroom community...always a bedroom community.

ksriver2010 6 years, 9 months ago

This is laughable. The Lawrence that many LJW readers know and love is already under pressure from the decidedly conservative bedroom community folks, as evidenced by the recent lopsided votes, the library being one of the examples. Anything west of Kasold, and recently maybe even west of Iowa, is turning much more conservative than most Lawrence faithful will admit, despite Brownback's idiocy.

Godot 6 years, 9 months ago

I agree, wholeheartedly. Let's revitalize a dying economy by recruiting a population who require huge amounts of public resources, who are in the anti-consumption phase of their lives, and who will eventually leave their homes, and their personal treasure to their absent children who could care less and will sell said stuff at auction rather than clutter their lives with the junk. That is a brilliant way to grow our economy!

This kind of idea is worth its own SRS office requiring $400,000 plus per year just to maintain the office space.

Sheer genius.

independant1 6 years, 9 months ago

We have an old family tradition just like the plan the Commission is hatching for the older folks.

We turn the old folks upside down and shake them then collect all the money that falls out of their pockets. Trouble wit that is now I'm one of the old folks that are the object of the plan.

There are bennies for the elders to move to low cost of living/high service towns like Larryville, have family that did just that. Bought a nice house, paid it off and lived out their years. Me, I chose the country life away from the clutter. That way the family don't come out and turn me upside down so often.

Lawrence Morgan 6 years, 9 months ago

A lot of these comments are ridiculous, and definitely very anti-senior. Hearme suggests a senior population which is very insular. I know lots of seniors who do lots of work in their communities, more, in most instances, then younger people. People who don't want to live around younger people - that's ridiculous. Seniors can contribute a great deal to a community. And that includes Baldwin-another small, beautiful town nearby. They should put on senior classes for people from all around the area, but of course, Baldwin University doesn't get it. They're both great towns for seniors. And many enjoy walking downtown. And a better mixture of all groups and classes of people would be very positive for Lawrence (and Baldwin).

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

"The Obama administration has no plans to introduce another large-scale program for relieving the troubled housing market, despite the president’s recent admission that his past efforts have not solved the problem, according to a senior administration official.

President Obama’s acknowledgment that the weak housing market had become one of his administration’s chief burdens set off industry speculation that there could be another large government offensive to jump-start the sector.

Thousands of foreclosures are put on hold: During the housing boom, millions of homeowners got easy access to mortgages. Now, some mortgage lenders and government officials have taken action after discovering that many mortgage documents were mishandled.

But experts said the government’s options are limited. There isn’t likely to be the money or political will to push through any significant legislation to address the problem, they said. And the evolution of the housing crisis may have pushed it beyond quick policy fixes.

Yet housing remains one of the biggest drags on the economic recovery and threatens to loom over the 2012 election. Millions of borrowers are facing foreclosure, while others are stuck in homes worth less than they owe, leaving them feeling cash-strapped at a time when consumer spending is needed to fuel economic growth."

Washington Post

Carol Bowen 6 years, 9 months ago

Kansasplains1. Nowhere did I say that seniors are not active in the community. As for seniors living around young people, you have that reversed. It's young people living around seniors. Student rental housing affects and destabilizes the neighborhoods we live in. But you are right to point out that all is not negative. Here's a positive list: 1. Lawrence has very good medical services. 2. Lawrence is centrally located. MCI is a quick trip. It's easy for family to visit. 3. There are lots of opportunities to interact in the community. 4. There are many local businesses that offer a variety of products. It's easy to shop local. 5. There is plenty of open dialog about the future of Lawrence. 6. You don't have to wait weeks for an oil change or a dentist appointment.

The aging population is causing a demand for a different environment. Never before have we had such a large senior population. You cannot assume that you will be a healthy and fit senior. And, even healthy and fit seniors will eventually need more accommodation. Most seniors will want to be near family as they get older. So, given that reality, our first concern should be the seniors and their families who already live here.

Lawrence Morgan 6 years, 9 months ago

Hearme, thank you for that additional material you just put in as a comment.

Cait McKnelly 6 years, 9 months ago

I qualify as a "senior". Not only would I not retire to this town, I'm leaving it. You can keep your 100+ degree summers and -0 winters.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 9 months ago

I must agree, the extremes have gotten to my better half and I. Have spent too much time indoors due to weather the past two years.

Southwest U.S.A. for us in Winter, U.P. Summer.

cowboy 6 years, 9 months ago

Granny night at the Bottleneck 25 cents shots for those over 60

This could get ugly

monkeyhawk 6 years, 9 months ago

"But Booth said a task force would look for ways to target affluent retirees who would produce more benefits than costs to a community."

At least they admit they just want to attract that demographic to suck out of them whatever they have left. It sounds really desperate.

About the only folks I can think of that would be interested in Lawrence (which definitely ain't what it used to be) are progressive/libs who already live in college towns. But, why would they leave the mountains of Boulder or the ocean near Berkeley to come to a place like this?

A rarity has me agreeing with cait - I will get out ASAP. I have donated enough to this quagmire and have received little more than increased taxes and ridiculous regulations that make it impossible to run a business. It would even be worth walking away from the house since old folks don't need credit anyway.

Doug Fisher 6 years, 9 months ago

And I would wager to say that Lawrence isn't as liberal/progressive as it used to be. Pretty much anything west of Iowa St. is conservative suburban folks. Town has definitely lost much of it's charm and I left Larryville 6 years ago.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

Who's to stop the city and planning commissions from approving those 60-100 bedroom boarding houses next door to a few new seniors? Let's have "Animal Houses" in the hoods.

After all some of those seniors may want to live in beautiful old East Lawrence where the smart buys and old growth trees are located which is not what the chamber has in mind. The powers that be have quite a narrow view as to what senior citizens want.

I say:

  1. They will want walkable/cycling neighborhoods all over a community NOT just a spot "designed" for them

  2. Wide new level sidewalks throughout Lawrence... after all baby boomers are the exercise generation

3.Very safe bicycling paths to downtown from a variety of hoods after all baby boomers are cyclists

  1. Extremely healthy eating out cafe's instead of looking out their windows and viewing a load of new junk food choices such as that senior living situation on west 6th street that is under construction.

  2. A much improved and clean burning public transportation system

  3. living quarters very near a city library

  4. Lots of green space instead of a community filled with automobile pollution that will be unhealthy for their lungs while outdoors exercising on a bike or long walk.

Above all else no extreme radical governor such as Brownback,very hot humid summers and quite cold winters = too much for too many.

My father in law is a republican fiscal conservative who is stunned that Brownback could get elected as our governor after being a do nothing congress person with such extreme radical views. He and his new girlfriend certainly are ruling out Lawrence,Kansas. He thinks Kansas is like the republican party..... can we say history.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 9 months ago

“I tell you, there isn’t a business in this country growing faster than Baby Boomers Inc.,” said Hank Booth, who is leading the Lawrence Chamber of Commerce’s Senior Council.

The council is recommending the creation of a joint city-county Senior-Retiree Attraction Task Force. The idea has some support on the City Commission.

“It is a booming market,” said City Commissioner Hugh Carter, who has been working with the chamber on the topic. “They would bring a lot of experience and wisdom to the community, and they could be a big help to philanthropy.”

The community foremost authorities have spoken....

"recommending the creation of a joint city-county Senior-Retiree Attraction Task Force." AKA the same Chamber thinkers that occupy most all so called task forces = Lawrence Home builders/real estate special interest group.

whats_going_on 6 years, 9 months ago

can we also build them their own roads? I'm tired of almost getting whammed by little old men who can't see past the front of their boatcar.

whats_going_on 6 years, 9 months ago

although, to be fair, about a month ago I was driving down Waky and this lady started to ease in to my lane as I was approaching in the other lane. She was driving a van, and so I honked and drove past. As I looked at her I noticed she had 2 kids in the car, and she was knee driving as she was texting on her phone pressed up against the top of the steering wheel.

I was so...freaking...mad.

BorderRuffian 6 years, 9 months ago

The primary reason Larryville is looking again to the "Golden Agers" is the money they provide for the money-hungry Larrycrats via the fines they have to pay for not being able to shovel snow off of their precious sidewalks before the snow police spring into action.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 9 months ago

We could have story telling day at the library. A good topic would be describing what it's like to actually enjoy Clinton Lake without owning a boat. Or, even better a fictional yarn about easy access free fishing docks.

........It was a warm fall morning Erma and Ed felt the desire to spend a bit of time on the water. The sky danced clouds playing peek a boo with the sun. The day was on. Ed gathered the fishing gear, Erma packed their long worn picnic basket with goodies she knew he craved.

Ed smiled as he knew fishing was just an excuse. He hoped the nice couple they met last week would be there again. He enjoyed the gentle conversation. Ed knew school was in session, but wished for some young people there as well. He remembered how Erma loved watching the kids race around in the paddle boats. He so enjoyed helping kids with fishing tips.

They both wanted to watch ducks fly in and maybe just sit and talk of old times. Erma worried about Ed's ability to walk safely, but never brought his disability up. She knew he loved dock 5 mostly because he needed no assistance, Ed loved independence. She thanked the stars for Lawrence city leaders foresight to insist easy access fishing areas were placed all over the lake area. Her favorite was dock number 5 which had a restroom close by. Erma at times preferred dock 3 mainly because of the little hamburger place a few steps away.

Ed worried too and was so thankful dock number 5 was only a few steps away from the parking lot. It was so easy this day trip, so easy.

George Lippencott 6 years, 9 months ago

Are we going to slow down our tax increases - many seniors are on fixed incomes??

Kind of deceitful to invite them here and then tax them to where they have to eat dog food.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps if Lawrence banned the planet-killing internal combustion lawn mowers the city would be more attractive to older people. Killing the planet is dumb and irresponsible !!!!

BorderRuffian 6 years, 9 months ago

"more attactive"

Nothing like a city lot covered in unmown grass and noxious weeds to enhance attractiveness. Not a very bright bulb here...

optimist 6 years, 9 months ago

This is a bad idea. Having a disproportionate number of retirees could have a long-term detrimental effect on the city. I have nothing against seniors and any organic shift into the city is okay by me but I've seen the down side to an aging community. I grew up on the east coast and still have plenty of family that live in the city I grew up in. The city is full of retirement homes, both private and government subsidized. These homes provide little in the way of property taxes. Many retirees still own their own homes but the city and state now significantly reduce or completely eliminate the property/school taxes for retirees. This shifts the tax burden to businesses, the young and families. The consequence over the last 30 years is an 80% loss of primary jobs mostly in manufacturing, a decrease in small business in lieu of big box stores and national chains, an exodus of youth and families, property values declining while property taxes on those that pay increasing at a rate of 15-25% per annum over the last several years. For example: the median home value in Lawrence today is $136,000 and taxes are approximately $1,700/yr while the median home in my families community is $84,000 and combined taxes are over $5,000/yr. This same example carries over to other areas of cost of living. Gasoline costs $.50 more per gallon, electricity costs are approximately 30% higher, natural gas is approximately 15% higher and taxes on cable, internet, phone and cell phone are significantly higher (this pays for free and subsidized cell phones for low-income and the elderly). Sales tax is more than 9% and income taxes are as much as 10% on the average middle class worker. Much of the reason for these higher costs and taxes are due to subsidies for retirees. Kansas already has a tax break for retirees that can reduce their property taxes by as much as 50% per year. I fear what Lawrence will do to attract these retirees and then what will happen when they begin voting as a block for subsidies on their cost of living.

lunacydetector 6 years, 9 months ago

watch out for the childless old hippies driving against traffic having acid flashbacks, or rich rich old white folk driving against traffic? the choice is ours.

lawrence should have more apartment buildings for the elderly, since apartment developers have carte blanche in this town.

irvan moore 6 years, 9 months ago

this is great, all of us old people without lots of money can subsidize downtown condos and apartments for affluent old people from someplace else to live. it would be nice if this city commission would look for ways to benefit the people who are here now instead of catering to downtown lawrence and it's agenda.

Alceste 6 years, 9 months ago is an ever so wonderful article where to go to get one's money's worth. Lawrence and Kansas ain't on the list. :

10 Tax-Friendly States For Retirees 2011

1. Wyoming

2 Mississippi









Granted, those aren't the finest "choices" vis-a-vis "states"....but they sure know how to not tax........

kernal 6 years, 9 months ago

After reading the comments posted so far this morning, I can only conclude some of you don't plan on living past forty. In that case, all I ask of you is clean up your mess before you leave!

kernal 6 years, 9 months ago

If Lawrence thinks it can influence a large influx of senior residents to Lawrence with the services currently offered, you're either naive or don't have a good handle on what will attract seniors, especially those with money. As that designation is fast approaching for me, I can tell you the only thing keeping me here is family and friends.

This town has little to offer a senior population.

Don Whiteley 6 years, 9 months ago

Yep, spend a few million dollars of taxpayer money attracting seniors to live in Lawrence, then chase them out of town with Lawrence's astronomical property taxes and water rates. Certainly makes sense to me.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 9 months ago

Actually, the demographic data suggests older folks are moving back to college towns. They tend to drive up the housing market's cost, don't bring any kids with them for the schools and generally enjoy the college atmosphere, lectures, games, museums, etc. Lawrence is aging. This may be one explanation of why the school district enrollment has been pretty flat for a number of years, with the only growth being in the virtual school.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 9 months ago

I suspect that the average family size has decreased from 2.5 children back in the day.

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

The photograph on the homepage is misleading in connection with the story. It pictures a couple who are likely in their late 70s or early 80s. The article is really about baby boomers, those 50 to just entering retirement age of 65.

Godot 6 years, 9 months ago

And once those 50-65 year old boomers settle in Lawrence, they will magically remain that age for the rest of their lives.

beatrice 6 years, 9 months ago

huh? That seems like a rather odd response.

Most 50 - 65 year olds are still working and have greater spending power than do already retired people in their 70s and 80s. That is the pont I was making. Boomers obviously won't remain 50 - 65 year olds and will age like everyone else, but they do have more years ahead of them and greater abilities to spend for longer years than those on fixed incomes currently in their 70s and 80s. That is the point of noting that the article is about Baby Boomers and not their parents. Not meant as a slam on anyone.

Clara Westphal 6 years, 9 months ago

The Chamber of Commerce is a waste of money. They come up with all these 'wonderful money making'. ideas and then the rest of us are stuck with more taxes and less services. We would be better off without the C of C.

The word that caught my attension was affluent. They only want the rich and the rest of us will get kicked to curb.

Enoughsaid 6 years, 9 months ago

My first question would be why the hell would a retired person want to live in Lawrence Kansas. Very high taxes, low wages and a housing market that few can afford to buy in Lawrence. It would seem Eudora would have a better chance to attracting retires, cheaper housing, close to KC/K-10/ New Turnpike Gate.

At present Kansas is rated 11th as having the highest sales tax in the country. Housing is taxed at 100% of fair market value. How many states tax groceries at 100%. The only good thing Kansas has going for it right now is that government pensioned are tax exempt. But if you move here from another state, your government pensioned will be taxed at 100% unless it is federal or railroad retirement.

The state of Missouri recently figured out they wanted retirees with government pensions and are phasing out tax on government pensions and social security. Missouri residential property tax is 19% of fair market value.

The other day I was talking to a retired couple who live in Lawrence and also have a house in the state of Montana. They were telling me they bought a new car and were deciding which state to register their new car. Montana is one of about five states that has no sales tax. With that in mind the couple figured that the property tax would be real expensive since Montana has no sales tax. Guess again, it was cheaper to register the new car in Montana. I didn't ask , but I did some research and to register an RV in Montana is about $150 a year. The state of Kansas (Lawrence) lost out on about $2,000 in sales tax (8.85) and about $600 a year in property tax on this new car. To me this would be an easy guess on which state to resister your new car and the funny part of all this is this couple is retiring on a Kansas government pension (KPERS).

For anyone who is considering retiring in Kansas (Lawrence), there is a very good website for retirees wanting to live in any state in the union. The website is called taxes by state and is full of free information for every state. I'm affraid when our current governor with his fat federal pension is done, this state will be considered one of the worst states to live or retire in with sales and property tax at the high-end of the scale.

jafs 6 years, 9 months ago

Real estate isn't taxed at 100% of market value - it's taxed on the "appraised" value, which is much smaller.

Carol Bowen 6 years, 9 months ago

"Assessed" value rather than market value.

optimist 6 years, 9 months ago

If we focus our attention on attracting a certain kind of resident we can assume that those of us not in that demographic will be paying for it. $$$$$$$$

netnetnet 6 years, 9 months ago

All I have to say is, "wow." Don't these guys even read the local paper. This is not a new topic and it is not a new study. It seems that the only action City Commissioners take is the lip-service of recommending another 'study' or 'task force' or 'town-hall-meeting.' When do they actually do something. Also, I don't understand why they quote Carter in the paper. He never really says anything.

Doug Fisher 6 years, 9 months ago

Aren't there already a lot of retired folks flocking to Lawrence? I remember reading a magazine article a few years back when the town was voted Top places to retire or something stating that many KU alumni were retiring there.

Georgine McHenry 6 years, 9 months ago

So let me get this straight. Lawrence wants affluent retirees to settle in town, they want to put in donation meters for the panhandlers and the SRS is relocating. None of that makes sense. I think our leaders are a bit out of touch with the realities of this town.

Scott Morgan 6 years, 9 months ago

Bride and I are in full f ledge retirement planning mode. No drill. Lawrence does not rank anywhere near the top for places we've looked at. In any category. Love the area, but getting snowed/iced in, or humidity blasted is not my idea of weather.

Love it when people tell's hot in Arizona in the summer. I say, yep, so sad for them I will be on a lake in Minnesota drinking a beer.

I like what tensacks posted, ........I moved here to get away from the old coots. Much merit there.

Dan Blomgren 6 years, 9 months ago

Seriously, the elderly? The city commission as well as the Downtown Lawrence Association are run by fools!! We've got a University graduating thousands of kids every year, but we want to turn Lawrence into a retiree bedroom community. Do you think before you act? Whether than try to attract new business to employ the annual 'fountain of youth' you want to turn this high real estate tax community into a senior citizen retirement home. And if you were successful at doing so the JW headline in a decade would read "KU Enrollment down for the 10th year in a Row". What was once a energized vibrant community has become old, tired, and dated. JC Penney and Applebees couldn't be happier!
And a retired couple has he same impact as 3.8 manufacturing jobs! Are you kidding me!? You can try to spin those numbers anyway you want, but I'm not stupid enough to buy that lie.
Hey City Commission, think about this. Almost everyone loves a dog. Let's cater to dogs and see where that gets us. More parks, more trees, and everyone feels good watching the tail wag! You should all be embarrassed!

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