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Archive for Friday, June 29, 2012

City manager recommends budget with new police officers, expanded transit hours, slight property tax increase

June 29, 2012

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A bit of a property tax increase, three new police officers and a whole bunch more hours for the city’s public transit system are among the key proposals in City Manager David Corliss’ 2013 recommended city budget.

Corliss on Friday afternoon released his recommended budget for the coming year. Now, city commissioners will debate the proposal and come up with their own budget plan by early August. Here’s a look at the key points of Corliss’ proposal:

• The property tax mill levy would increase by 0.87 of a mill. A mill is $1 in tax for every $1,000 in assessed valuation. The owner of a $200,000 home would pay an extra $20.01 a year in property taxes if the mill increase is approved.

• Three new police officers would be added to the city’s force. Corliss is not recommending a previously-discussed multi-year funding plan that would increase both sales taxes and property taxes in order to fund a major expansion of the Police Department. That plan would involve funding a $30 million police headquarters facility, and adding 46 new officers over a four-year period. Corliss termed the proposal an incremental step, but said he believes the needs of the Police Department are significant.

“I don’t consider the three officers to be sufficient to meet the department’s needs,” Corliss said. “But I think it may be as much as the community and commissioners are willing to do next year. If they want to do more, that would be appropriate.”

• A pilot project to expand the operating hours of the city’s bus system would be undertaken with $250,000 of funds from an already-approved sales tax. The project would involve using two vehicles to offer “on-demand” service from the hours of 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Saturday. The service would require users to call the city ahead of time to arrange for a vehicle to pick them up. The service would allow for people to make standing appointments, such as someone who needs a ride to work each evening.

Check back to LJWorld.com for a more detailed report of the recommended budget.

Comments

Matthew Herbert 1 year, 9 months ago

Only Lawrence, Kansas would take a program that lost $3 million and would say "hey. Lets expand it....only now with it being personalized and thereby less efficient".

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mikekt 1 year, 9 months ago

I think that brownback sent the city/county the bill for the SRS office lease, here during one of his fits! That is Several Hundreds of Thousands of Dollars, per year, which has to come from somewhere.

brownback = tax shifting! Plain & simple!

How should the city/county pay for that?..... & everything else ?

Me,.....i'd just cut to the chase,.... since the city/county spends a fortune dealing with drunks each year,...... in Lawrence.

Well,....How about a tax increase on alcohol to get the city/county..... & everybody else,..... out of the business of babysitting adults & college kids, who consume too much & run afoul of the laws of Lawrence?

Yea, i know........ after g.w.bush, that this almost sounds, "UN-MERICAN!". It's too reasonable of a thought & particularly the idea of taxing potential drunks, who can't control themselves once drunk, seems anti-social, because it is, after all, societies job to police their stuff, and do every DWI & Domestic call that they can to further what?!

If an industry creates a problem, show them no welfare! Let them clean it up with a tax!

But if you're looking for unnecessary, wasteful spending, just ask yourself......Did the city ever pay for your child care costs?.......Who gets free babysitting? Would you choose to pay for the cost of all of the babysitting of adults & troubles caused by that industry, out of your own pocket?.......Because You Are!

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 9 months ago

If in fact, Mr. Corllss works for the five city commissioners, then those so called business minded people need to not accept Mr. Corliss's recommendations and come up with their own to decrease the mill levy.

It is that simple. If the commissioners cannot figure out how to reduce expenses, then no one is at fault but them.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 9 months ago

Mill levy and assessed value is a game. It is like the income tax you pay in is on the 2nd page of your 1040. Right up front they show you your refund if you get one. If you look on the 2nd page it tells you how much they kept.

One year the city raises your mill levy, the next your assessed value. This is a clever way to slide it to you gently as you at first think, Great the mill levy did not go up, but what has happened is your assessed value went up, thus they slide you the ole' accounting trick wenie. The city, county, school board, and maybe someone else all have the opportunity to take a whack at your property tax bill each year.

The answer is to stop growing groups, facilities, and the ilk that use tax dollars. We dont need many of the things we have, or are getting shoved down our throats. There is no reason an out dated book depository can not be housed in some current open facility, but no, we have to spend 18 million on it. It has been said it would be cheaper to buy everyone in lawrence a kindal and we would save money.

It has to stop somewhere, everyone will be affected, we all need to do our part, especially those walmart breeders that crap out another kid each year so their welfare check does not get cut.

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Patricia Davis 1 year, 9 months ago

And what about that sales tax increase that was mentioned in the news story (next to last paragraph) to provide additional funding for the "regional recreational complex?"

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jafs 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm surprised how many people don't seem to understand "assessed value" - if you look at your tax bill, you'll find the "market value" of your home, and then also an "assessed value" - the assessed value is much lower than the market value, and the mill levy is on the assessed, rather than the market value of the home.

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Steve Bradt 1 year, 9 months ago

Hear_me writes:"Chad, This is not correct. "• The property tax mill levy would increase by 0.87 of a mill. A mill is one dollar in tax for every $1 in assessed valuation. The owner of a $200,000 home would pay an extra $20.01 a year in property taxes if the mill increase is approved." A mil is one dollar for every $1,000. An .87 mil increase on a $200,000 home would be $174. Would someone check my calculations? This is not even close to $20."

Agreed, and a week or so ago in and article about a proposed 4% increase in water and sewer rates, we were informed that "... the city calculated for an average household that uses about 8,000 gallons of water per month, the combined water and sewer bill will grow to $72.34, up from $67.78 currently."

Somebody needs to confirm this and check the math. These figures represent a 6.7% increase, not 4%. Quite a difference.

Somebody at the LJWorld or the City, or both needs to invest in a calculator or else provide some explanations for these discrepancies. People are suspicious enough of the City's budgeting process as it is without adding seemingly blatant misinformation too it.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 9 months ago

"The project would involve using two vehicles to offer “on-demand” service from the hours of 8 p.m. to 6 a.m"

aka, the biggest damn taxi you've ever seen.

These people are just too stupid for words.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 9 months ago

JackMcKee recommends firing David Corliss

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reality_check79 1 year, 9 months ago

So why do we elect city, state, and national leaders then??? Oh yeah, we elect them and allow them to be our voice and vote on our behalf... You must of taken the same govt class as Obama...

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

Tax Payers Over Extended!

Taxpayers should be allowed to vote for or against all new capital improvement projects and rate increases. Nothing moves forward without voter approval. This would include USD 497.

New capital improvement projects are in fact increasing the tax bills. There is no way to get a budget under control when there is constant expansion of the infrastructure.

Adding more and more of anything is no way to rein the budget.

No one has a clue when the economy will bounce back so why are commissioners approving new tax increases by way of new capital improvements? Who will be paying for these increases?

"National surveys (through American Farmland Trust) show that county costs in services required by farmland and open space generally is only 35 to 60¢ for every $1.00 in revenues they generate, producing a net gain for counties. "

"In contrast, residential use in counties costs $1.11 to $1.60 in services for every $1.00 generated."

I say the Lawrence/Douglas County current budget crunch can be tied directly to infrastructure expenses needed to serve new housing developments.

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

Taxpayers should be allowed to vote for or against all new capital improvement projects,taxincreases and rate increases. Nothing moves forward without voter approval.

Politicians are and have been very busy over extending local taxpayers.

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Lawrenceks 1 year, 9 months ago

So much for attracting retirees!

Get rid of the empty T!!!

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reality_check79 1 year, 9 months ago

Wow... Liberals complaining about taxes being raised??? That's funny!!! Guess you just want everyone else to pay to keep your city afloat... The bus system brings in "people who can't or won't pay bills" that would be national bus companies not your local service... You must mean the evil JO bus that brings in those horrible JOCO kids to ku and transports locals to juco... So let's see if I have this correct, in the last week I have seen some of you complain about a tax for sewer and water upgrades, updating a police force that could use a lot of help based on your constant complaints about calls, response times etc, a hotel and business plan, and now busses... Based on this you want Lawrence to stay in the rut it is in and never tax you for the cost of running a city... News flash!!! It is not the city of Lawrence that controls the constant rising cost of doing business nor is the city at fault you don't get a raise!!! Gas is expensive, upgrades are expensive, overtime is expensive, and all the little things like street lights, roads, snow removal, cutting the grass are all expensive, and that cost has to be put on someone in order to keep the city running... Apparently the liberals in Lawrence think everything is fine, wake up!!! You can't complain about all of these issues then complain about the taxes to pay for it... If you want it changed run for office!!!

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Luckyone 1 year, 9 months ago

I'm pleased to see that our City Manager did not expand the police force significantly. The new Police Chief (like any new leader) wants a new building and lots more resources without providing a numerical comparison of the per capa number of law enforcement officers in similar college towns like Lawrence to support his request.

After performing a little research myself, I suspect that the reason that this per capa information has not been provided to the public is that Lawrence is already in the top 10% nationally in the number of police per thousand residents for a college town.

Kudos to standing up to the political pressure Mr. Coriless and shame on the Lawrence Police Chief for trying to pull a fast one.

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gccs14r 1 year, 9 months ago

I think we need expanded routes and hours so that the system is more usable. I'm willing to pay higher taxes for that.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 9 months ago

The bus was demanded, and for the last 10 years been looking for a place to fit. It is an absolute waste of money, uses tax dollars to compete with local business and caters and helps bring those to this town who cant or wont pay their own bills. When these people come, they suck tax dollars away from us for housing, medical, mental, dental, schools and just about everything else they can find a way to mooch.

Many of us are very tired of this. Most don't say anything.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 9 months ago

Lawrence is run by idiots and fools.

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Steve Jacob 1 year, 9 months ago

So we are going to hurt private business in Lawrence even more by offering buses all night. As far as I am concerned, you can eliminate 80% of the bus routes and make everything else “on-demand” and the bus system would be better and save money.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 9 months ago

It is time now for Mr. Jimenez of the City to be part of the Welcom to Lawrence committee. Lenexa city council just set a flat fee for permits for new construction of homes. True, they are for expensive homes but nonethless, Lawrence is doing nothing to attract homebuilding. In fact, Chad should report about the 25% increase of home sales and provide a list of the sales price, the listed price and number of days on the market for each property as well as if they were foreclosures.

Count the JW out for reporting the facts about home sales.

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Carol Bowen 1 year, 9 months ago

Chad, This is not correct.

"• The property tax mill levy would increase by 0.87 of a mill. A mill is one dollar in tax for every $1 in assessed valuation. The owner of a $200,000 home would pay an extra $20.01 a year in property taxes if the mill increase is approved."

A mil is one dollar for every $1,000. An .87 mil increase on a $200,000 home would be $174.

Would someone check my calculations? This is not even close to $20.

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FalseHopeNoChange 1 year, 9 months ago

Extended 'free' cattle cars are needed for the "Retirees" that will soon be 'flocking' to Larryville. Oh, and the 'children'. Good job Corliss.

The 'increased' police force will be needed for 'rioting' Teaparty people that will 'ensue' when the current "Choom Gang" leader is implemented again in November.

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oneeye_wilbur 1 year, 9 months ago

Would Mr. Corliss have the guts to also recommend a price increase to ride the bus? Of course not!. When David Corliss makes over $12,000 a month, do you think he can relate to a tax increase or a bus fare increase? Of course not!

1

toe 1 year, 9 months ago

Its just someone's money, and public demands it. Taking care of yourself is for chumps. We need more protection, more transportation, more medical, more housing. Luckily, someone else will pay for it. Yahoo. A life free of personal responsibility.

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Jayhawk1958 1 year, 9 months ago

Blah, blah, blah, blah blah blah, blah, blah. Go get a life.

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Keith Richards 1 year, 9 months ago

I would like my portion of sales and property taxes rebated to me so I can spend it on my car and my gas. Thank you poor people for feeling like my money is yours to spend how you choose.

Get a bike, a moped, a friend, or walk to work.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 9 months ago

How many are finding it difficult to keep up with many many tax increases coming from everywhere?

Keep in mind that preferential tax incentives are tax increases to taxpayers. Taxpayers are the only source to make up the difference.

Tax incentives bypass the tax dollar cookie jar that which must pay the bills.

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Patricia Davis 1 year, 9 months ago

empT x empT still = empT no matter what time it is.

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LogicMan 1 year, 9 months ago

"The project would involve using two vehicles to offer “on-demand” service from the hours of 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. Monday through Saturday."

Doesn't this service already exist? Called a "cab"?

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