Letters to the Editor

Retiree taxes

January 8, 2012


To the editor:

There’s been a lot of discussion recently about luring additional retirees to Lawrence. I have a suggestion: My home state, where my mother still lives, offers a substantial tax discount against the property tax on the principal residence of a person who is over 65 (or disabled). That might help attract more people.

One might object to this on grounds that it would cut into tax income, but that doesn’t seem to bother anyone handing out goodies to wealthy developers.


skinny 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree with you 100% My parents bought their house brand new in 1971. Their tax payments now a month are more than their house payment used to be! Crazy! So much for ever paying your home off in the state of Kansas!

IBike100 6 years, 5 months ago

I have a friend who lives in Colorado Springs, has a house worth $250,000 and his property tax is 1/2 of what it would be in Lawrence. Lawrence is so expensive that people are moving out to surrounding towns like Eudora.

funkdog1 6 years, 5 months ago

Yeah, and Colorado Springs has a bustling tourist trade. Most places that get lots of tourists have lower taxes. Kansas doesn't have that luxury.

Matthew Herbert 6 years, 5 months ago

Explain to me again why attracting retirees is so vital? Retirees have no children in the public schools and thus no incentives to improve them; in towns with large retiree populations bond issues are largely shot down. Lets be honest for a second: retirees have no incentive to improve Lawrence for the long-term, for obvious reasons. If you want to develop and improve this community you need to make it appealing to young families to stick around....KU graduates thousands of young people a year. Find a way to keep them here and you will have LONG-term community investment

SnakeFist 6 years, 5 months ago

I agree with Renaissance: Attracting wealthy retirees who have money to spend is one thing, atracting low income retirees who have so little money to spend they're concerned about paying the same property taxes as everyone else is another. The latter have little to offer Lawrence.

SnakeFist 6 years, 5 months ago

Don't get me wrong, I like having older people in the community - they're good neighbors. I'm simply saying there's no reason to incentivize an influx of lower income people who happen to be senior citizens; they're likely to consume a lot more services than they pay for in taxes and economic activity.

beaujackson 6 years, 5 months ago

Many senior citizen homeowners are living near the poverty level, and has forced more than a few to give up their homes (only) because of high property taxes.

Property taxes, especially on older homes in central Lawrence is artificially high because over 75% of homes in SF zoned neighborhoods are used for the "business" of KU student rentals. Rental houses are worth far more (for rentals) than for owner-occupancy. Rental landlords can easily afford high taxes ann maintenance because of tax deductions on their "business property" which are unavailable to owner-occupied housing.

This is extremely unfair to owner-occupied housing in the same neighborhood, many of whom are seniors that have lived there for many years.

These senior homeowners have long "paid their dues" to support oybkuc schools and the city, but now need a "break" because they are on fixed (declining in many cases) incomes.

Reduced property taxes for senior homeowners in Lawrence is long overdue.

Katara 6 years, 5 months ago

beaujackson (anonymous) says…"Many senior citizen homeowners are living near the poverty level, and has forced more than a few to give up their homes (only) because of high property taxes. "

Then those seniors already qualify for a credit on their property taxes. It is called the Homestead Claim. They also probably qualify for a food sales tax credit.

Joe Hyde 6 years, 5 months ago

So...you're saying every guy 55 years and older is no longer attractive enough to a woman of childbearing capacity that he can't make a baby with her?

I doubt many older men would agree with either the biology or the psychology of that view, nor would they care to live in the ghetto you propose.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 5 months ago

What a wonderful letter.

Go for it making it effective immediately.

Hey retirees coming to Lawrence is lip service. Builders are constantly searching for bogus reason to build new housing Lawrence does not need. Most of these builders seem to be smoking the same intoxicating martini's.

Matthew Herbert 6 years, 5 months ago

"throwing money away" to build a library. Wow. I'm glad you've identified libraries as the root of all evil within a community. If we'd just burn all those books, it'd sure save us a lot of money.

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