Archive for Wednesday, March 20, 2002

City to pitch excise tax to residents

March 20, 2002

Basehor city officials are urging the public to attend two meetings concerning the city's transportation excise tax before voting on the issue April 2.

The public meetings are scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 21, and Monday, March 25.

The meetings will take place at the Basehor-Linwood High School auditorium, city officials said.

"It's important so citizens can be informed about the need and how we're proposing the excise tax and what it's going to be used for," Basehor City Codes Administrator Mike Hooper said.

City officials said the public is encouraged to attend and ask questions or make comments during the meetings.

The transportation excise tax is a nine cents per square foot fee applied to new developments or to those owners who remodel their property more than 51 percent of the assessed valuation.

The funds gained from the excise tax would be used for improvements to well-traveled city streets such as 155th, 158th, 150th, Parallel and Leavenworth Road.

City officials said the remodeling portion of the excise tax has been the source of the most concern for those opposed to the excise tax.

And for that reason, Hooper said the remodeling portion of the levy could be changed or amended.

"I think that's where the most controversy is," he said.

However, the remodeling portion is not expected to bring in a significant amount of revenue, Basehor Mayor Bill Hooker said.

A cap of $10,000 has been placed on the remodeling part of the excise tax.

City officials previously hoped to implement the excise tax without a public vote, but a citizen petition with more than 100 signatures against the tax was validated by the Leavenworth County Clerk's Office and the special election was ordered.

Leavenworth County Clerk Linda Sheer said advance voting has been going on since mid-March.

Those wishing to vote in advance may do so at the County Clerk's Office or through the mail, Sheer said.

To vote through the mail, Sheer said voters must ask for an application and a ballot would be mailed back to them.

"Anybody can advance vote if they want to, instead of going to the polls," Sheer said.

The last day for voting at the County Clerk's Office is Monday, April 1, and mail-in ballots must be received by 7 p.m. April 2, Sheer said.

The excise tax was not discussed during the Basehor City Council meeting Monday, April 18.

During the meeting, the City Council:

denied a zoning request from Basehor resident Pat Wilson. Wilson requested rezoning her residential property to commercial so she could place her beauty shop business in a detached building located on her property. (See related story, page 1A)

approved contractor payments for the Falcon Lakes project in the amount of $23,203.

approved street lights for Falcon Lakes, Prairie Gardens and Iron Creek subdivisions in the amount of $181 per month. The figure includes pole rental, electricity and a 3 percent franchise tax.

approved departmental projects and equipment for 2002.

approved purchase of ventilation confined space equipment system for sewer department.

tabled scheduling a work session to discuss police department wages and benefits.

The next Basehor City Council meeting is scheduled for April 22.

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