Letter to the editor: West Campus tax rebate too large

To the editor:

I agree with City Commissioner Courtney Shipley and Mayor Lisa Larsen, who recently questioned the level of incentives provided to the proposed development on KU’s West Campus.

As related to the 95% rate of tax reimbursement given to the development, and given the projected rate of return of 9.78%, why couldn’t a 60% reimbursement be accepted? That is still a huge help for the development.

So now the city and its taxpayers will receive basically almost no property taxes on this development for 20 years. I guarantee that development in 20 years will need street maintenance, water and sewer line maintenance, which the city will have to provide at the cost of property taxes that they will not be paying for.

And 1.5 acres donated to Tenants to Homeowners for construction of affordable housing is a joke that is nothing compared to what the city is giving them.

The city is hugely supported by property taxes incurred on homeowners in Lawrence, and yet the city continues to significantly limit development of houses to be built in Lawrence. Hence, the ridiculously high prices for houses in Lawrence due to almost no available inventory causing even higher taxation on homeowners.

This is a city of less than 100,000 people — not a big city that can afford all the nearly free tax incentives on the backs of the taxpayers. Let’s at least try to promote development that pays property taxes. Why do we have to give these huge tax incentives on the backs of our citizens?

Mary Chaney,



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