Opinion

Opinion

City needs retiree incentives

November 2, 2011

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I think the appointment of a commission to find ways to make Lawrence and Douglas County more appealing to retirees is a very good idea. Lawrence and the surrounding communities enjoy a number of significant advantages in such an effort: Kansas University can provide a multitude of activities for seniors, including the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute run by KU Continuing Education; we are blessed with excellent cultural institutions and programs; the cost of living is moderate; and we have a terrific medical center in Lawrence Memorial Hospital, among other things. But if Lawrence and Douglas County are going to become a major retirement living center, then we also need to think about the special problems retirees face today and will be facing in the decades to come.

Recently, I have been reading a good bit of material about retirement financing and retirement housing in particular. It is clear from my readings that the baby boom generation is facing some significant problems in retirement. First, we (since I am a baby boomer) have become accustomed to living well, better than our parents’ generation. There is no reason to think that the majority of baby boomers will willingly scale back their expectations in retirement. Second, our generation didn’t save enough to finance retirement on the scale many want. Third, even those who saved have seen their savings decimated by the recession.

Fourth, low interest rates—and the prospect of such rates continuing for years into the future—means that the income produced by retirement savings is far lower than many expected. Fifth, both private and public pensions and Social Security no longer seem secure. Finally, medical expenses and insurance costs continue to rise and can easily wipe out even substantial retirement savings. All of this means one thing: Many retirees either find themselves with less money than they had planned or are more fearful that their retirement savings will not be enough to provide a secure and comfortable retirement.

From the perspective of places like Lawrence and Douglas County, the financial problems and worries so many baby boomer retirees face today require not only that communities attempt to provide cultural, sports, and entertainment facilities, but that they also think seriously about how they can create financial incentives to attract retirees. Nobody who follows the activities of the Lawrence City Commission and the Douglas County Commission can doubt that they know how to hand out financial incentives.  Ask any local developer.

I would suggest that the newly appointed commission on retirees think about suggesting programs that would provide financial incentives to retirees and to those developers who are willing to build homes for retirees and pass on savings to the owners or renters. Perhaps, we might provide new retirees who move to Lawrence an initial grace period in which the retirees pay lower real estate taxes, something like the abatements from taxes we now provide to commercial development projects. Or, perhaps, the city and county could work with local banks to provide mortgage guarantees to retirees moving into the community, guarantees that could result in lower interest rates.

Lawrence and Douglas County leaders need to be creative if we are to make our community a leading retirement destination. I believe that one important aspect of what will be needed will be creative strategies to provide financial incentives to retirees just as we have traditionally provided for commercial development.

— Mike Hoeflich, a distinguished professor in the Kansas University School of Law, writes a regular column for the Journal-World.

Comments

Oldsoul 3 years, 8 months ago

You're so right, Gandalf! Just say no to unwanted abuse!

januarygirl 3 years, 8 months ago

I KNOW OF ONE STATE THAT STOPS THE INCREASE OF PROPERTY TAXES AT AGE 65, SO TAX INCENTIVES WOULD BE A KEY BENEFIT. I AM A SENIOR IN LAWRENCE AND SEMI RETIRED, THIS WOULD BE A BIG HELP. I WANT TO DO MY FAIR SHARE TO HELP THE SCHOOLS AND COMMUNITY, BUT ALOT OF SENIORS ARE ALONE AND ITS HARD FOR ONE PERSON IN SO MANY WAYS, NOT JUST FINANCIALLY. I THINK WHEN THIS HAPPENS , MAYBE PROPERTY TAX CAN BE CUT FOR A SENIOR LIVING ALONE WITH ONE INCOME, SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT.

KU_cynic 3 years, 8 months ago

The baby boomers have been the locust generation -- awarding themselves unsustainable government retirement benefits through the social security and medicare systems, enjoying a self-absorptive consumption-fueled lifestyle, and failing to put aside adequate financial resources to sustain their lifestyles in their retirement years.

And now typical baby boomer Hoeflich wants even more in the form of government housing subsidies for the elderly, taxpayer-funded incentives to attract retirees to communities like Lawrence, and taxpayer-guarantees on mortgages and interest rates for the elderly. Really?

Here's a message from the Gen-Xers and millennials to the baby boomers: your time at the government trough is over. Take a step back, adjust your lifestyle downward to the new reality, and keep your hands out of our pockets.

And a final aside, justifying incentives and subsidies that benefit the elderly at the expense of the rest of us because of precedence for other inevitably corrupting and distortionary government interventions in the local economy via sweetheart deals for developers just shows how far down this immoral road we've come. Hoeflich's view is typical baby boomer: "Someone got theirs, so we should get ours -- only more -- too!" Instead, how about we as a society resolve to end the "beggar Peter to pay off Paul" public policies that are eroding the moral fabric of our society.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 8 months ago

Social Security existed long before the Baby Boomers and it is funded from wages. And, health care is not a benefit. It is a necessity. If we do not fund ss and Medicare this way, families will have to step up and take care of their elders. Can you afford to cover the costs of caring for your elders?

Liberty275 3 years, 8 months ago

"And, health care is not a benefit. It is a necessity."

Health care is like food. If you have the money, you eat the good stuff, if you don't, you get the leftovers for free.

jesse499 3 years, 8 months ago

If the baby boomers like me had not been around to fight for this country KU_cynic just maybe you would not be allowed to voice this BS sometimes after reading some of this I wish I hadn't.

januarygirl 3 years, 8 months ago

WOW!! THAT WAS A MOUTHFUL, INTELLIGENT, BUT SO ASSUMING!! , I DO APPRECIATE YOUR WORD SKILLS, HOWEVER , I RESENT ALOT OF WHAT YOU SAY HERE. THE MAJORITY OF SENIORS DO NOT ENJOY THE HIGH LIFE, MOST OF US HAVE WORKED HARD AND PAID OUR SHARE AND STILL ARE. I KNOW THAT THE SYSTEM IS NOT FAIR TO ALL AND WE CAN ALL WORK TOGETHER FOR THE GOOD OF ALL PEOPLE OF ALL AGES. LIFE HAS NOT BEEN FINANCIALLY EASY FOR MOST OF US. YOU HAVE MADE SOME PRETTY HARSE EMPTY STATEMENTS FOR A SAGMENT OF THE POPULATION THAT CONTINUES TO CONTRIBUTE, WE ARE NOT ON A FREE RIDE. MEDACARE IS NOT FREE, ALOT OF SENIORS ARE SUPPORTING AND RAISING THEIR GRANDCHILDREN , ALSO HELPING THEIR ADULT CHILDREN, HAVE LOST ALOT OF RETIREMENT MONEY ALONG WITH THE YOUNG ADULTS WHO HAVE LOST RETIREMENT MONEY FROM THEIR 401K'S , PEOPLE OF ALL AGE GROUPS ARE STRUGGLING.

hoeflich 3 years, 8 months ago

I will ignore the juvenile insulting remarks KUCynic feels compelled to make and reply dispassionately:

The point of my column is simply that if Lawrence and Douglas County want retirees to settle here--and I assume that they do from the recent formation of the commission to attract retirees--then Lawrence and Douglas County will need to provide financial incentives to attract them. I also assume that the desire to have retirees move here is that they spend money and that money helps the local economy. Presumably, if incentives cost less than the benefits they bring in, then the county and city will grant them to produce a net economic gain. If the county and city act rationally, they will treat incentives to attract retirees no differently from incentives to attract commercial developers since the point of both is to bolster the local economy. If retirees' contributions to the local economy would be less than the incentives given to them, the incentives make no sense and shouldn't be given in the first place and there is no reason to try to attract the retirees. Incentives are not immoral; they're just good economic development tools if used properly.

Time to take an economics course KuCynic.

KU_cynic 3 years, 8 months ago

Time to take an economics course? I teach such courses. Perhaps you should get out of the law school building and take some courses yourself.

As to the charge that my comments are "insulting": if it's insulting to draw attention to a gluttonous generation that threatens to bankrupt the country with its selfishness, I guess I'm guilty.

An finally, "if the county and city act rationally" . . . ever heard of public choice economics, Professor Hoeflich? The city and county don't "act" -- local politicians and bureaucrats act under the heavy and often corrupting influence of interest groups like developers looking to line their pockets, not of pure public interest.

hoeflich 3 years, 8 months ago

So you are a member of the KU faculty? Why don't you reveal your identity? And, yes, I've heard of public choice economics and I leave the law building regularly. And not all developers and public officials are corrupt nor are all members of my generation gluttons. And, yes, public officials do often act rationally in economic terms, but, then, who am I to dispute an expert such as yourself? I'm not going to bother to respond to your posts further.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 8 months ago

You are shirking your responsibilities. Like I posted earlier, if we do not use this system, you will be personally responsible for your elders and disabled.

Mark Jakubauskas 3 years, 8 months ago

Fail.

Let's see: 1) "There is no reason to think that the majority of baby boomers will willingly scale back their expectations in retirement." 2) "...our generation didn’t save enough to finance retirement on the scale many want." 3) "...even those who saved have seen their savings decimated by the recession."

Summarized: They didn't save money for retirement, they won't scale back their expectations, and any savings they did have are now decimated.

Therefore we should expend public dollars (because these people don't have money) to bring these people to Lawrence in the hope that they will spend money here ?

Retirees may bring money - in the form of stored or transferred wealth (i.e, savings, pensions, or Social Security), but they do not CREATE wealth, as an industry or business might.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Congressperson Washington, DC

VIA FACSIMILE: 1-202-xxx-xxxxx

RE: MEDICARE AND SOCIAL SECURITY

Dear Congressperson:

As one of your constituents I urge you to oppose any budget deal that cuts Social Security and Medicare benefits to reduce the federal deficit. Instead of cutting the benefits I worked for, Congress should be cutting waste and closing tax loopholes and raising income taxes on the top 20% of our Nation. Over time, the United States has expected less and less of its elite, even as society has oriented itself in a way that is most likely to maximize their income. The top income-tax rate was 91 percent in 1960, 70 percent in 1980, 50 percent in 1986, and 39.6 percent in 2000, and is now 35 percent. Income from investments is taxed at a rate of 15 percent. The estate tax has been gutted.

I worked my entire life and paid into the system so I’d have a guaranteed source of income and health coverage when I retired. Congress needs to make responsible decisions to reduce our nation’s deficit, but they can do so without harming the health and economic security of seniors and future retirees.

Respectfully,

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

However, with all due respect Prof. Hoeflich and your fellow academican KU_cynic (sorry, no data on that name shrug)

Michael Hoeflich University of Kansas Distinguished Professor 2010 $218,499.25 Michael Hoeflich University of Kansas Distinguished Professor 2009 $209,599.25 Michael Hoeflich University of Kansas Distinguished Professor 2008 $210,641.41 Michael Hoeflich University of Kansas Distinguished Professor 2007 $209,281.01

http://kansasopengov.org/StateGovernment/SGPayGrid/tabid/1553/Default.aspx

And let's not leave out this material fact:

0763 N 1851 Diag Rd Lecompton $419,830 Michael Hoeflich http://www2.ljworld.com/propertyvalues/?q=Hoeflich

Again, the data base doesn't have anything on KU_cynic shrug

I'm living in a totally different world than you, money wise. In those simple four years alone you've pulled in almost one million dollars and that doesn't include the little party known as the Regents' Retirement Program or whatever the darn thing is called that beats KPERS into the ground.

Me and mine know how to live on under $2000 per month but we can't keep doing it and maintain our modest $120,000.00 bought and paid for house given these fools keep increasing our property taxes and sales taxes and blah, blah, blah. And KU_cynic...we're not wholly reliant upon social security; we do have a modest KPERS income and another pension WE EARNED from another state (though it's not time for it to begin); and we do have monies in a 457 that'll be available in due time.....but Social Security and Medicare are an integral aspect of the "plan".

If both you guys are pulling in that kind of money annually and have such castles of homes....why youse pickin' on us commoners? Everyone knows this "Lawrence for Retirees" is a joke and is aimed at the wealthy retiree.....not us $2g's a month folks! Phooey!

KU_cynic 3 years, 8 months ago

I don't make Hoeflich-level money, that's for sure. But you're right that I'm not some struggling humanities professor.

But you're right on target in saying "Everyone knows this "Lawrence for Retirees" is a joke and is aimed at the wealthy retiree..." That's exactly my point: we shouldn't be spending even more public funds on relatively affluent baby boomers who are already sucking this country dry. Targeted government subsidies for low-income senior housing and public transportation -- I'm probably open-minded on that, but not for any economic development reasons. Untargeted subsidies that benefit affluent baby boomers at the expense of Lawrence teachers, police, firefighters, grocery store clerks and all the rest of us non-seniors -- I'm vehemently against.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Thanks.

It is almost shocking the greed that people pulling down $200k per annum somehow think they're "middle class" and need "incentives". For what?

I'm not asking for anything more than that I be able to count on the plan that was laid out almost 40 years ago. I don't need or want a $500k crib; paying the bills and maybe taking a trip to Branson, MO (be nice if it were via a supported public transport system like in Europe); having internet (a giant, giant Library); HDTV; and not having to wear three sweaters in the winter to save on heating costs is what I'm suggesting is "fair" for what we're doing over here at our place. I'll wear two sweaters. That 3rd one sometimes gets a bit of dribble on it......excuse me.....

jesse499 3 years, 8 months ago

The one thing I'm vehemently against is people like you that blame seniors for taking what we have paid into for all our working life. When the reason there is not enough there is people like you went to Washington and took (stole) what we paid in and used it for other things and didn't pay it back.

jesse499 3 years, 8 months ago

I did invest but not in that crap and do not have to depend on SS .But I had to pay in for the 40 years no choice and it Pi--es me off when some crap head tells me that I don't deserve to get back what I had to pay in. Even a KU prof .could have invested that money and had more then enough to pay My great-great-great-great grand kids.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

jesse499:

Use the "template" I provided you above and fax or email Roberts, Yoder, Jenkins, and Moran. Let 'em know. Message boards are a game. Well, so is writing those yokels, but it's something.

jesse499 3 years, 8 months ago

I would venture to say that ( most ) baby boomers had to much pride to work the system like people do today. Not that there weren't people in need but (most ) didn't go out and have eight or nine kids so they could get money from the system instead of working.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Oh man....that's just wrong. You really believe that goes on to the extent it's even a blip on an economic radar screen?

The people working the system are the corporate fat cats, the very person who wrote the article ($200+k per annum and "incentives are needed?); the tax abatement requesters; the farm subsidy recipients.

You disappointment......not really: (Did you fax or email Congress about your concerns relative to Medicare or Social Security?>>>????).

In Hard Times, Kansans Like To Blame The Poor

jesse499 3 years, 8 months ago

Yes I did

And I don't blame the poor for anything. Just the Lazy.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Well, I'm with you on the "lazy". I just think there a lot more tax cheats and loop hole users and welfare (as in USDA price support) recipients than there are lazy in this country. A LOT more....

It is true kids don't walk around no more seeking to rake leaves or shovel snow. And, if there are, they want $35@ hour!!! I guess it starts at home, eh? What about them kids that ain't go no home.....or got a "lazy" daddy skating on the streets.....homeless by choice....a life-style choice....and systematically dis-empowered by the do gooders who is really doing baddder??!!

hoeflich 3 years, 8 months ago

Alceste: I fail to see how I'm attacking you or others in your position. All I have said is that if Lawrence and Douglas County think it is worthwhile to do something to attract retirees, the they should consider using financial incentives. As for my income or the value of my home, I'm not looking for any financial assistance. I already live in Douglas County and wouldn't qualify. I do think putting my address in the newspaper is a very unpleasant thing to do. I don't hide behind anonymity. Now, thanks to you, if some nut case decides wants to come to my home and harm me or my family, you've made it a lot easier for them. Nice going. I'm sure you're very pleased with yourself.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Prof. Hoeflich: (It's all about the ducats and titles, eh? $200k+ to turn out ambulance chasers? How many being educated in our law schools go into Povery Justice programs or Public Defender projects or other forms of community service? The vast bulk are there to get into liability law; corporate law; etc., etc., etc. They're looking to get paid. Try getting a lawyer in Kansas for a labor issue....but I digress):

That's one of the many reasons I prefer anonymity. There are some on this message board who view same as "cowardice". I say using your real name does just what you're suggesting and learned that back during Windows 95 days the mIRC wars. I mean you no harm and I never wrote that you were "attacking" me. Perhaps that's just "legal lingo" given the, bottom line, adversarial legal system which is U.S. Law (despite the fact many "in the business" speak with forked tongue about "win/win" in a legal matter. No such thing is there? This web site right here via the Journal World finds you by name: http://www2.ljworld.com/propertyvalues/ It wasn't I who put your name in the paper, you did that.
Too, given me and mine live in the rotting core of Lawrence....what was once the pride and joy of Lawrence....but now is no more thanks to East Topeka Development....errrr...West Lawrence....we don't have the luxury of being out in peaceful land: We're surronded by arrogant children that KU pimp out and encourage to use 5 and 6 years to obtain what was once a 4 year degree and are happy to help them get deeply into debt and an uncaring elite who don't care about the infra-structure of the "inner city"; won't fund the proper policing of same; devote untoward resources to protecting the elite owners of downtown Lawrence businesses and buildings; enjoin our own efforts to sell property because it is "historical" according to some ninny, etc.

May I suggest you use your status and position and privilege and ADVOCATE for the little guy instead of going on about offering incentives to well to do "retirees"? How about letting some of us into the club? Because, as is noted above, this silliness of "attracting people to Lawrence to retire" is just that: Silliness. You need the kind of money you're getting to afford a night out here. The Lied Center don't give no Senior Discounts. Why not? To keep the riff raff away.

"You have owners. They OWN YOU.......It's a BIG CLUB and you ain't in it....The table is tilted folks; the game is rigged....". I rather suspect said remarks apply to me and mine and NOT you and yours. Send me a PM and I'll send you the youtube link. Maybe it will help you understand the pressures the little guy copes with. You guys up on that hill don't get it I'm afraid. Then again, my compatriots continue to put guys like Brownback, Roberts, Moran, Yoder, and Jenkins into office. shrug

Truth be told, I don't think you really give us 98%ers much thought, if any.

George Lippencott 3 years, 8 months ago

Ignore him. He is doing to you what he has done to me. If you have a public persona he googles you and tries to undercut your posiiton with a bunch of data he gathers - much of it wrong.

He is a clasic example of a very self serving individual. On another blog he wants income taxes on the top 20% significanly increased while holding him harmless> Here he complains about property taxes because they apparently effect him. How can he be poor if he is paying property tax?

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Now Moderate. You've got your reading blinders on, don't you? Right above I note with respect to me and mine:

"Me and mine know how to live on under $2000 per month but we can't keep doing it and maintain our modest $120,000.00 bought and paid for house given these fools keep increasing our property taxes and sales taxes and blah, blah, blah. And KU_cynic...we're not wholly reliant upon social security; we do have a modest KPERS income and another pension we earned from another state (though it's not time for it to begin); and we do have monies in a 457 that'll be available in due time.....but Social Security and Medicare are an integral aspect of the "plan".

Curious: We each have a different concept/definition of what's what: For you, anybody that OWNS is "not poor"? Ok, I'll go that way....but I've never claimed I'm "impoverished". Getting closer to it, however......; and can't wait for the 2nd pension to kick in....if we make it that far....and to start drawing down from the 457 which never lost dime one because it was so conservatively structured...; We're trying to keep that set aside for a few more years.

But let me get this right: Someone who owns a tarpaper shack in back woods Kentucky...heck...even Kansas..... is "not poor" simply because they own a house? Good grief. Self serving indeed.

Read below: I wouldn't know how to spend $45k in a year, let alone $200k+. Our wants and needs are worlds apart, Moderate. We live in different worlds. Bet: I can live quite comfortably in your situation. Can you live as comfortably as I do in mine? My suspicion is NO, you could not.

This discussion borders on absurdity because you actually, seemingly, believe that a family of four with a gross income of $24k per annum....that's before FICA, Medicare, blah, blah, blah withholdings....not NET, TAKE HOME is not "poor" simply because the federal poverty guidelines say so????? Here's the deal: there are "guidelines" and then there are "thresholds". Most social service programming works around 185% of the poverty level for eligibility purposes. You're lost.....and with well over 4000 posts on an internet message board one has to conclude indeed, you're lost. Curious....but lost.....you have no clue what is going on in the belly of the beast with respect to this nation. Here is the .wav file again. Have your speakers on when you click the link: http://www.audiomicro.com/free-x-men-sound-clips-you-know-magneto-s-right-there-s-a-war-coming-download-549711

Think about what that guy is saying. It's true, like it or not. It may have already started. 16% unemployment nationwide average (when you factor in those that have given up looking for work or are only working part time; etc., etc., etc., etc.). $400,000.00 houses beg the question. And...oh...yes....I meant to bring this fact up before.....a $400,000.00 house in Lawrence, Kansas is probably a $1.4 million+ abode in Chatham, NJ or San Francisco or etc.

George Lippencott 3 years, 8 months ago

I usually make a cheap shot on arguments for more seniors referencing local taxes. But over time it has entered my dense head that we are not really talking the average senior – we are talking high net worth seniors who can afford to live here. Great idea! But I am not sure we need to incentivize high net worth seniors.

Now as someone who chooses to speak for the less affluent seniors hereabouts, I still think we could become more senior friendly if we capped property taxes for those above 65 with incomes below some level such as $25K-35K. That might make it easier for those already here to continue to live in their homes and it might attract more typical seniors.

By the by. Moderately expensive is comparative. Are we comparing with New York City? I have no data but it seems to me travelling around Kansas that our little city is right up there in terms of cost of living.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Moderate notes: "....I still think we could become more senior friendly if we capped property taxes for those above 65 with incomes below some level such as $25K-35K. That might make it easier for those already here to continue to live in their homes and it might attract more typical seniors."

!!!! "They" do NOT want "...more typical seniors....". They want the Park City, Utah condo owner type seniors. They want the Upper East Side NYC seniors who will have a quaint loft in Downtown Lawrence and feel "common" a week or two out of the year; they want Scottsdale, AZ seniors who will use our World Class Cardiology Center at LMH (despite the fact there is a branch of the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale).....focus.....focus......Sakes alive please do not call in an Arty!! As Pogo noted "We have met the enemy and he is us."

Dave Trabert 3 years, 8 months ago

Instead of offering taxpayer money as an incentive, government should find ways to reduce their costs and lower property tax rates. That's an incentive retirees really appreciate.

According to Dept. of Revenue data posted at http://www.kansasopengov.org/PropertyTax/tabid/1264/Default.aspx total property tax collections in Douglas County (cities, county, schools, etc.) increased 128.5% between 1997 and 2010. Population in the county increased 21.7% and inflation rose 32.7%...so taxes rose about double the combined rates of inflation and population.

p>KansasOpenGov.org is operated by my employer, Kansas Policy Institute. All data on the site comes from official government sources.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Thank you for pouring salt in the wound, truly. It cogently explains the pain being felt property tax wise by Alceste.

However, with all due respect, a lot of that is due to the underfunding coming from state government/Topeka and throwing back state responsibility to local entities.

Now, granted, here in Lawrence/Douglas county, we overpay our County workers....particularly the administrative/Court set. Shoooo weeee dogggies are they rolling around in the moolah; we have duplicative and excessive "social programs" that once were necessary, functional, and needed but now are sad jokes in providing service delivery compared to what they once were (they're sacred cows now, too).....and that's the nature of Lawrence. HOWEVER, the larger problem are those playing to gallery in Topeka, Mr. Trabert with Brownback leading the lunatics. Brownback don't worry about paying taxes. He was even able to get subsidized rent whilst in Washington, D.C. and pocket the rest! For that matter neither does Moran, Roberts, Yoder, or Jenkins. They're all "getting paid" and not paying their fair share. Incredible.

Dave Trabert 3 years, 8 months ago

It would be interesting to see how local governments would substantiate their assumed costs from 'state underfunding.' But if it's any consolation, state general fund spending this year is $2.5 billion more than in 1997...a 71% increase and much more than inflation plus population.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

Interesting, fact based reply.

Just because: Any idea what % of that 71% is attached to state employment pay of $85k+??

See, and I expect you may be aware of this reality, Dave_Trabert, there are a lot of simpletons who, for whatever reason.....say our own stupidity, lack of effort, limited intellect, no motivation....whatever.....never made into the $40+k per annum ball game and wouldn't know what to do with the huge influx in cash were it to come in this very day! We figured out how to live "comfortably" on what we "merited". Kindly note sarcasm.

I see a BUNCH of big fat monied people via that Open Gov website, many, many, many of them "working" for Regent's schools, not to mention the other state agenices. Funny, too, I see the same surnames working their way up to individuals with the same surnames who are on their way out. I don't get it. But wait....maybe I do. I have to believe that a good portion of that 2.5billion is in wage related/benefit related costs. Now, don't get me wrong here.....I am a proponent of Big Government......gasp.....but the inability of the hacks in the jobs to do the "right thing" continues to astound me.....even as I approach the grave. I do NOT support privitization of government services, either. To the contrary, I'd prefer to see it all unionized. But those are tangental issues that Kansans get all huffy about. Them "go along to get along high dollar do nothing and get paid to shut up types" are the one's in the way.......This group would include most, if not all of Brownback's crew....however....it does not excuse the apologists on the "other side" of the aisle....they're getting paid too.

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man." George Bernard Shaw

chootspa 3 years, 8 months ago

Yes, because demand for low income services is exactly the same as it was in 1997, is it?

chootspa 3 years, 7 months ago

Also, why 1997? That sounds rather random and conveniently manipulated to prove a point. Why not five years ago, ten years ago, or twenty years ago?

You really don't lend yourself credibility when you stage what appear to be "gotcha" statistics like that. If you've got a reason for choosing that year that doesn't involve overstating your case, you should probably have listed it before throwing that year out there.

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

I believe you believe your own "avatar": KEEP FEAR ALIVE.

No thank you.

And nobody was "outed".

Alceste 3 years, 8 months ago

OMG: A 1st year, brownnosing lawyer school pupil is now stalking me. Isn't the 1st list I made it on....won't be the last. Carry on.

chootspa 3 years, 8 months ago

I'm glad to see that the Wichita resident and president of the Koch-funded Kansas Policy Institute is now slightly more forthcoming with the fact that he's spamming his own website in the comments. He should also include that he's involved with tax policy with ALEC (http://alecexposed.org/wiki/ALEC_Exposed) <--- not my own website.

That said, I find the stated goal of lowering property tax ironic, since Brownback seems to be steering toward a policy that will inevitably result in raised property taxes.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

If new retirees would be granted "incentives" to come why shouldn't existing retirees be granted "incentives" to stay in Lawrence?

What Mike Hoeflich is suggesting is giving a leg up to new folks which is the same as giving a leg up to new retailers over existing retailers etc etc etc.

How would these " golden age incentives" necessarily pay back the community? Taxpayers need hard evidence for they will be expected to back up the incentives.

What Mike Hoeflich suggests seems logical however incentives are too often based on assumptions.

It is my assumption that this fix on retirees is nothing more than a scam to build more and more residential for little to no reason. The housing market in general is not improving and foreclosures still on the increase.It seems to me there should be plenty of housing waiting for the the golden agers if they come prepared to negotiate.

Any home in Lawrence on the market can be modified for golden agers after all most are not ready for geriatric wards. There are a number of golden agers that enjoy cycling and walking for recreation and transportation.

Low fixed income folks would not be a happy fit for Lawrence.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

If residential growth paid for itself and was financially positive that would be wonderful. But with increased numbers of residential you have increased demand on services, and historically the funding of revenues generated by residential housing does not pay for the services they require from a municipality.

Can we say new residential = tax increase?

pace 3 years, 8 months ago

I think incentives are our continued support of a good hospital, visiting nurses, a good library, good good public transportation. If our stores, theaters and restaurants said welcome to old people , not just hey students, we love you. One of the bigger factors for me would not be tax cuts but there should be zoning advantages to apartment complexes or housing that are orthopedic accessible. Homes and apartments that extend their livability by smart design, to older populations. Maybe Apartment houses with communal kitchens, with safe bathrooms, with easy access cabinets in their kitchen, covered parking. Even a reasonable boarding house zoning, not forcing everyone into nursing homes. If it was easy to find a place to live where one could continue to live if one partner was in a wheel chair or a walker, that didn't cost $3,000 a month, we would look like a bright light. I also think our good stock of nursing and rehabilitation homes already work to our advantage. So, my number 1 suggestion is make a zoning advantage for orthopedic housing.

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