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LJWorld.com weblogs Loyal Opposition

Let us reason together. - Can we afford all that we WANT?

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We want a new police facility and a larger police force

We want a new regional sports complex

We want a new business center where the old fertilizer plant was located

We want a bunch of new buildings with associated tax breaks in downtown

We want to expand the art center

We want to provide tax breaks to new development in North Lawrence

We have used tax breaks for a number of economic development activities around town

We want to expand our trash collection at an unknown cost to rate payers (taxpayers)

We intend to increase our water costs by 4%

We already have a mil rate increase for the library to fund

Is there more??

We have among the highest sales tax in the state

We have the third highest property tax/per income rate in the state

We are at our self-imposed limit on borrowing

The county has not been heard from other then the normal leak to suggest a mil rate increase after a 20% mil rate increase a year ago.

We have yet to hear from the school district but the teachers want a big increase that we do not have.

We are advocating replacing any future cuts to state funding with property tax increases.

Most of all of this is not sold as somebody hurting – it is mostly sold as new good things w can have. Is this a race to somewhere other than bankruptcy? Do our lawgivers plan to fleece us and then move on?

Are we paying too much to the government engines that dominate our economy so that tax increases are without pain for a slim majority?

Could the slowdown in our economic growth relate to being more expensive than other areas of Kansas? Are our amenities sufficient to overcome the higher costs?

Does anybody care?

Comments

Carol Bowen 2 years, 6 months ago

The current trend will shackle us in the future. Whether we are liberal or conservative, I think that most of us would support conservative budgeting. We've lost the concept of developing a budget and sticking to it. It's like "The Great Recession" never happened.

The priorities are poor. There are so many infrastructure and humanitarian investments that are more important. I do not understand the driving force behind these projects. It is disappointing that our commissioners do not seem to be looking at the big picture.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

WE are a complex community. Maybe they are looking at the interests of at least a portion of it. Somebody will build all the infrastructure and facilities.

blindrabbit 2 years, 6 months ago

I'll redo the list of big spending projects by The City! We must have found the goose that laid the golden egg or a pot at the end of the rainbow!

New Rec. Center New Police Complex New Homeless Shelter Buy Salvation Army Building to expand Art Center New Sewage Treatment Plant New Community Theater Fix-up Former Farmland Property Library Renovation Tax breaks for a variety of current and proposed projects So many, I've forgotten some!

Alceste 2 years, 6 months ago

LoyalOppostion:

Let's be a bit more accurate here. Many of us, who are part of the "we" do NOT WANT:

".....a new police facility and a larger police force....." "...a new regional sports complex...." "...want to expand the art center..." "...to provide tax breaks to new development in North Lawrence..." "....a new business center where the old fertilizer plant was located...' "...a mil rate increase for the library to fund..." "...to increase our water costs by 4%..." "...(TO) have used tax breaks for a number of economic development activities around town..."

All the above froo froo was foisted upon us with no vote and no general consent or agreement. They're all frauds perpetrated upon on us by the wealthy who all benefit from same.....none of the above bull butter has ANYTHING to do with community service or progres. NONE.

jafs 2 years, 6 months ago

You're mostly right, but the library expansion and tax to pay for it were put to a city wide vote.

Biker 2 years, 6 months ago

Heh, wait a minute. I am wealthy and do not support the budgeting process, or any uncontrolled spending. Please lay blame at the people proposing the projects or rate increases, not those who are in agreement with you :)

camper 2 years, 6 months ago

From PolitiFact.com

Here are the average spending increases per year in raw dollars (not adjusted for inflation) in descending order by president:

Carter 1977 1981 16.4 %Nixon 1969 1975 13.5 % Johnson 1964 1969 11.0 % George W. Bush 2001 2009 10.2 % Reagan 1981 1989 8.6 % Kennedy 1961 1964 7.1 % George H.W. Bush 1989 1993 5.8 % Clinton 1993 2001 4.0 % Eisenhower 1953 1961 3.6 % Obama 2009 2013 1.4 %

So, using raw dollars, Obama did oversee the lowest annual increases in spending of any president in 60 years.

camper 2 years, 6 months ago

This is not from President Obama. This is from PolitiFact. In fact, Obama is not pushing these #'s as some analysts say he should. Point taken about the anomalies. Good point. But 3% is still low compared to other Presidents, especially because these #'s are not inflation adjusted.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

Only because you are using the basline dirven by the TARP (just about double normal outlays) Even though the budget keeps going up some of the return from the TARP reduces the apparent amount as does paying for if by printing dollars. We are borrowing a trillion a year and have not done that since (in constant value) WWII.

Truth - truth - truth. I am tired of spin from all sides

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

It is the royal "We". The King. I don't know how many of us want what but somehow we keep raising taxes and spending more for somebody.

I bet I will never see the inside of that rec center.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

There are about twenty houses on our street. One family is into team sports.

Carol Bowen 2 years, 6 months ago

So, jaf reminded us that the library did pass a vote.

I suspect the police facilities would narrowly pass. Their current facilities are inadequate.

The rec center was also voted on as part of a package. The public did not vote for a sports village.

The cost of high school sports complexes was skimmed off the bonds for the school projects. They were not subject to a vote.

I have been posting for some time that I do not trust our elected representatives to manage projects well. It will be a cold day . . . Before I vote for any bond issue.

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

I wonder if there might be a lesser cost consolidation solution for the police. In fact I wonder if consolidation is really needed as oposed to more modern and updated facilities??

George Lippencott 2 years, 6 months ago

I also suspect that we do not have to spend the old levy on a new rec center. I bet we just have to continue to collect it until repealed or changed. Maybe we should use that levy to address public safety shortfalls? Another ballot issue for this fall??!!

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

The 1c tax is not bad, but it is uncontrolled. We should repeal it and replace it with specific projects and a sunset provision.

anotherview 2 years, 6 months ago

If you are opposed to all these increases in spending, you should show up at the budget hearings and let the city, county and school district know your concerns. If enough people would show up and state that they are against these projects, the local governments just might reduce their budgets.

I have been to lots of budgt hearings and very few people show up. And rarely does anyone speak to oppose the proposed budget.

George Lippencott 2 years, 5 months ago

You have a good point. I suspect most people who have reservations feel inadequate in adressing the commission and the well prepared advocates for whatever.

Alceste 2 years, 5 months ago

Those hearings are a mere exercise. The decisions are made well before.....

Carol Bowen 2 years, 5 months ago

Here is the contact information for the city commissioners.

http://lawrenceks.org/commissioners/

All emails to the city commission through Dave Corliss, city manager, are printed and become public record.

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