Archive for Thursday, March 31, 2005

Living within means

March 31, 2005

To the editor:

Taxes, taxes and more taxes! It seems our elected officials have no problem spending money and then expecting taxpayers to pick up the tab. Now the Lansing School Board is at it again, asking taxpayers to approve a $23.6 million bond issue. It seems that this board didn't get it when voters rejected a $16.8 million bond proposal. Somehow this school board deduced that taxpayers wanted them to spend even more money.

So now, at a time when the financially strapped Legislature for the state of Kansas struggles to come up with a plan to increase school funding, this school board is asking taxpayers to approve a bond issue before the impact of legislative decisions is known. Perhaps this is the real reason for the timing of this bond issue. Not only should voters question the timing of this bond issue but also its impact.

Bond proponents are telling taxpayers that this bond issue will result in a minimal increase in one's taxes. To me this holds as much credibility as when elected officials asked us to approve the 1-cent sales tax and promised it was for only 10 years.

Now elected officials are asking taxpayer to renew it or face another increase in property taxes. How many times have taxpayers been told to approve this or that and it will only cost you this much, only to be hit later with a higher-than-projected tax bill?

Taxes are going up, and taxpayers need to know the impact of legislative decisions before they are asked to approve a bond issue that will increase taxes even more. Proposed legislation in both the House and Senate will allow school boards to increase your property tax through the Local Option Budget. This board is currently assessing taxpayers with the maximum LOB (25 percent) allowed, and if this legislation passes will in all likelihood raise the LOB again.

Lansing is close to paying off one of its bond issues! Maybe it's time to encourage this school board to pay off some of the existing debt before asking taxpayers to take on more.

What better way to vote for the future of kids than to teach them fiscal responsibility and the value of living within ones means? I urge you to vote No!

Chris Alford



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