Letters to the Editor

Letter to the editor: Taxing situation

November 5, 2017

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To the editor:

Over the last week, I have read several anti-tax letters to the editor regarding the three sales tax questions on the Nov. 7 ballot including the 0.2 percent for public transit, 0.3 percent for basic infrastructure and 0.05 percent for affordable housing.

As a community, we need to vote yes for these increases. The main argument against these taxes is that we have been taxed enough. I agree that local sales and property taxes have increased especially since the introduction of the failed Kansas tax plan in 2012. The state tax plan was designed to reduce income and business taxes to spur investment and growth. This did not happen and state tax revenues plummeted. In response, state government had to cut funding for essential public services. As a result, local governments had to raise local sales and property taxes to make up the difference. Lowering income taxes in favor of a more regressive tax system basically means that the middle class and poor are subsidizing the top income earners in the state. It will take years for Kansas and Lawrence to get out of this revenue hole. So for now we need this sales tax increase. However, if you want to reduce future sales and property taxes, then write your representative in Congress to vote NO (or significantly change) the current national tax reform bill that is similar to the failed Kansas tax plan.

Comments

Richard Heckler 1 month ago

It’s time to consider eliminating sales taxes on groceries.

Sales Tax Issue - Vote NO then send it back to the city commission for a revised ballot.

Why? Infrastructure portion - The commission isn’t obligated to follow the plan exactly and is the largest pool of money generated by the sales tax. This keeps the door open for helter skelter spending opportunities.

If current design of sale tax issue does not pass City Officials have said there is time before it expires in 2019 to modify the sales tax renewals and include them in a subsequent election.

This eliminates the potential for what I call helter skelter spending opportunities which is accomplished through dedicated allotments. Now we taxpayers KNOW how the money will be spent.

I say vote NO. I want the tax voted down then revised.

Richard Heckler 1 month ago

If current design of sale tax issue does not pass City Officials have said there is time before it expires in 2019 to modify the sales tax renewals and include them in a subsequent election.

This is how I believe this sales tax should be re-configured and approved to make it efficient and practical spending. I respectfully request the sales tax be absolutely dedicated to the following:

=== 0.05%% dedicated specifically to Public Transit is necessary for low income families, students, seniors who can no longer drive and for those who cannot afford to own a vehicle and for those who choose not to own a vehicle

=== .3% dedicated specifically to Affordable Housing as it seems there is a huge need for such and would provide enough money to make a substantial impact. Who provides the best bang for the tax buck and tenants? Tenants to Homeowners

=== .2% dedicated specifically to the following which improves the quality of life throughout Lawrence,Kansas and provides safe travel for a broad spectrum of the population.

== recreational path infrastructure/recreational trails and paths

== sidewalks/improvements to crosswalks and accessible ramps

== safe travel walk to school and back home

Why is this important? = 1. Reduces travel costs = 2. Promotes an active and healthy lifestyle = 3. Expands mobility options for all in Lawrence,Kansas = 4. Provides environmental benefits through reduced traffic congestion which in turn improves air quality.

The collection of such sales tax to commence on April 1, 2019 and shall terminate ten years after its commencement, all in accordance with the provisions of K.S.A. 2016 Supp. 12-187 et seq., and amendments thereto?”

If current design of sale tax issue does not pass City Officials have said there is time before it expires in 2019 to modify the sales tax renewals and include them in a subsequent election.

It’s time to consider eliminating sales taxes on groceries.

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