To the editor:
I was surprised that the Lawrence public schools promoted its $92.5 million new school bond issue as a “No-Tax-Increase School Bond Election.” Voters urged to vote “yes” for the no-tax-increase bond had to be confused.
It was a very misleading statement that stretched the truth and played with semantics to fool the public. The “no-tax-increase” really means that only the amount of your annual bond tax payment will not change much. However, not clear was that the number of your payments will be substantially increased to pay for the $92.5 million after the old bonds are paid off. That is clearly a tax increase. Let’s not fool ourselves.
For taxpayers whose property values have gone up, they will most likely have an increase in their school bond tax payment.
Furthermore, the school board made a very misleading case saying “we can do all of this without a tax increase” by omitting that bigger facilities will increase the operating budget and the capital budget. Amazing they can say that with no shame.
According to Douglas County officials, 66,107 voters were eligible to vote on the USD 497 bond issue, and 11,146 (16.86 percent) did vote on it. There were 3,106 who voted “no” and 8,040 voted “yes.” This means the $92.5 million school bond was passed for all taxpayers to pay by only 12.2 percent of the eligible voters. What does this say about the communications and our community?