Comment history

What are you looking forward to about the holidays or winter?


December 22, 2011 at 10:10 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Lawrence city leaders to ask Kansas legislators for increased speeding fines along K-10, new sales tax for Internet shoppers, SLT to be completed

We have got to find a fair way to charge sales tax for internet sales. It is extremely unfair to the shop owner that runs a nice store, pays local property taxes, pays employees to service customers and then has to charge customers sales tax. I have a friend that owns a downtown Lawrence clothing store and he has customers come in almost every day to try on cloths to see what size they need to order on the internet. Several have even told him what they were doing. This tax loophole needs to be fixed!!!

December 19, 2011 at 8:24 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

After housing, what's your highest monthly bill?

Taxes in a landslide.
24% between fed and state
15.3% FICA-I am self employed and pay both halfs
8% of my gross for personal property tax on my home and warehouse
.44 cents tax per gallon of gas
9% sales tax.on the things I buy if I have any money left over
Over 50% of earnings in total. I think I need a new accountant.

December 1, 2011 at 11:15 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Tax exemptions

Read Dr. Wong's article folks. The exemptions that make up a huge part of his numbers are business to business taxes. Currently our sales tax is tied to consumer sales. He is stating that more sales tax would be generated if we charged sale tax at each transfer to the consumer. In his model, a small company making componet parts for Boeing or any other company, would need to pay use tax when they bought their aluminum or other raw materials. Then that comany would have to charge Boeing sales tax when they deliver the components to the factory. That is two additional tax points before the product is even ready to sell to the public. Boeing would be smarter to just import the products from Mexico and cut out the Kansas subcontractors. Food prices would go up because grocery stores and resturants would be charged sales tax on the foods they buy. Wholesale food suppliers would be charged sales tax on the bread they buy from the bakery and the bakery would have to charge more because that had to pay sales tax on the wheat they bought. If you charge sales tax at each step in the distribution process you will raise prices for everyone. In the end small business would lose out. Huge companies like Mcdonalds would own their own farms and meat packing plants so they wouldn't get hit with taxes two or three times before they attempt to sell to the public.

February 19, 2011 at 9:54 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

Wisconsin Democrats in All Out Rebellion

I respect the right to peaceful protest but many of the signs being carried are over the top. Comparing the Gov to Hitler and posters showing him in rifle scope cross-hairs are not appropriate in my opinion after the tragedy in Tucson. I also have concerns with teachers calling in sick and then going to the protest when they should be doing their jobs and educating our children. I hope these tasteless statements or the view of a small minority and not shared by most of the protesters It is actions like this that actually turn non government workers against them.

February 17, 2011 at 11:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

For second election in a row, east Lawrence turnout dwarfed by west


Thank you for the response.

I don't believe the main reason to bring new companies to town is to balance the tax base. I believe it is to offer new employment opportunities to our community. A chance for Lawrencians to work here instead of traveling to Topeka or KC. Balancing the tax base is a nice benefit of adding these companies and it certainly can help reduce the tax burden on home owners.

Your next point about leaving a lot of taxes uncollected is a interesting. Is the glass half full or half empty. If we don't attract new companies to Lawrence we get no new tax revenues or jobs.

I don't have any problem with your third point but I think we as a community should at least look for a way to work with these companies instead of looking for a down cycle in their business to call them a bunch of freeloaders trying to take advantage of our city.

I am sure there might be some companies that might run after abatements from one community to the next and if a company has a history of doing so, we should not offer them an abatement. It is very costly for a company to move, build new buildings and train employees. I don't believe many well run companies would take that course of action. Lawrence has had many companies stay here for decades.

I appreciate your opinion of tax abatements but if a community feels it really needs to attract jobs, I feel we need to use all the tools at our disposal. I have a small business in Lawrence and it actually hurts my business when a new company comes to town. We are all competing in the same labor pool and if I lose a few good employees to a new firm or have to raise my payroll to keep employees it hurts. But I believe it is better for the community to have a healthy job market. The local consumer base is of very little value to a firm seeking an abatement. Most abatement eligible companies are Manufacturing or Wholesale companies that are selling there products throughout the region or entire country.

I never mentioned TIF in my post. I am not an expert on the subject, but from what I understand, they should rarely be used.

April 10, 2009 at 6:32 p.m. ( | suggest removal )

For second election in a row, east Lawrence turnout dwarfed by west

Bozo on the Bus and Catalano

When the city offers a tax abatement to an eligible company it is usually only matching the market tax rate that the company could receive from almost any other community. We will never attract many new companies to locate here when tax abated companies are forced to pay higher than market rates for labor. It is not right for a city to require a private company that is interested in relocating to pay a higher rate for labor than the City and State government pays. That is the definition of hypocrisy. We currently do that in Lawrence. You can find jobs listed at both KU and the city that are below the "living wage". I am not sure but I don't think we have had one single company move to Lawrence and go through the abatement process since the LV amendment has been added. We have only hurt those we were trying to help.

For a company to even be "legally" (By State Law) offered a tax abatement, the company must show that it will provide the city with at least $1.25 benefit for each dollar it seeks in tax abatement. These tax abated companies are not a drain on tax payers or the State wouldn't allow cities to offer them. Having these jobs in Lawrence not only benefit Lawrence but they benefit Kansas.

I know that not every company should be offered an abatement, and I also know that some companies fail to meet all the requirements they forecast. It doesn't mean that these business owners were all trying to take advantage of the city; sometimes a business just doesn't do as well as they planned. I believe over half of all new companies fail within the first three years.

You equated tax abatements to Corporate Welfare and I used to think that was offensive to business. Now I kind of conceed that it can be considered in that manner. Welfare by definition is "temporary government assistance to those in need". I believe that investing large sums of capital on a new venture in a competitive world market is a difficult endeavor. These entrepreneurs and the people that work with them can use all the help they can get in this time of need. Offering "corporate welfare" to a company and then forcing them to pay higher than market rates for labor is like forcing an indivdual on welfare to pay more for a loaf of bread.

I know I responded rather late but I hope you read this and respond in a constructive manner. I enjoy hearing different points of view and encourage you to point out errors in my logic. I believe Lawrencians need to understand the abatement process and the difficulty in attracting new business and jobs to any community.

P.S. I do believe Lawrence has an elitist attitude towards jobs. If I've heard it once, I've heard a hundred times that we need to attact high paying high tech jobs to Lawrence. Those jobs would be great but there are people in our community that just want a job.

April 10, 2009 at 12:36 a.m. ( | suggest removal )

City may rethink living wage requirement

Go to the city website and read the Tax Abatement Policy. The company isn't required to average the "living wage" rate, it must pay every employee the LW rate. It must pay LW rates to all temp workers that work over 3 weeks in a year and to all part timers that work more than 60 days in a year. They can't even pay their kids under $12.00 if they would like them to help around the store or mow the yard. A review of the 216 job openings at KU show dozens of jobs paying under $10.00 per hour. It is not right to require private companies to pay more than market rates for labor and certainly not right to require them to pay more than the government pays its workers. Tax abatements are not give aways of tax payer money. They are incentives to get manufacturing and wholesale jobs into your community. These companies can get tax abatements from almost every community in the 4 state area. We are simply charging these companies market tax rates when we match tax abatements from other communities. By State law, it is not even legal to offer a tax abatement to a company that does not pay at least $1.25 of tax for every dollar of abatement it receives. In other words, it must benefit the community before an abatement can even be offered to a company. No one wants to keep hard working people down, by bringing in new jobs, it should help create opportunity for everyone. If we keep pushing jobs out of Lawrence we will continue to suffer.

December 18, 2008 at 12:25 a.m. ( | suggest removal )