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Blogs home Vote No on the sales tax Nov. 3

Can't support either sales tax

The city council and mayor at last night's meeting did little to clear up the questions concerning the two sales tax propositions on the Nov. 3 ballot. They did, however, make it perfectly clear that if those two taxes did not pass then they would "have to look at other ways to raise money." Nice threat public officials. How much does a recall election cost?

Hey mayor and city council, here's another way to raise money: Write a sales tax initiative that has a clear end and clear specifics about what projects are to be funded. The word "could" has no business being in your ballot question. You can talk about fixing Ralph Tanner's storm water problem until you are blue in the face, but there are no guarantees that money raised in Prop. 1 will be used to fix that problem. Sorry Mr. Tanner, if Prop. 1 passes, the city government can decide to use that money to fix whatever infrastructure is needed in Fire Tree instead. If we need money for an expanded library and walking trails, then say that. If we need money for Sixth Street improvements, then say that. Don't just say the money "could" be used for that, because I can't support it. And I will not support a sales tax that never ends.

In my opinion, this council, mayor and city manager have proven themselves untrustworthy on projects that are important to me. Why should I vote them a blank check? If these two ballot initiatives pass, the voters will have also given a blank check to future city councils and mayors. We can't afford that.

Please Vote No on Both Sales Tax Questions on Nov. 3.

October 20, 2009

Vote No on the sales tax Nov. 3

Comments

NanCrisp 5 years ago

Once again, I was unable to attend last evening's meeting. But I could have guessed that there would be no specifics in either of these sales tax issues. I agree with Justask. This is not about whether or not we want certain specific items that are thrown in our faces as the reason we should approve a sales tax. This is about the fact that when we think we're voting to fund those specific items, we end up instead funding things that were never revealed to the voters. This has happened repeatedly in the 17 years I've lived in this town. There is only one way to demand transparency in our government, and that is to vote "no" on any initiative that is not explicit in what will be accomplished.

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Justask 5 years ago

Wow, NanCrisp and I agree on something.

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501gdm2 5 years ago

I understand there are always projects which can be completed with additional tax money and understand the city fathers asking for the additional revenue. But I have't heard one word from the council or city manager on what the city has done to reduce cost! Times are tough right now, and it would be better for the council and the residents of Baldwin if the spending was curtailed at present time. Also I assume the city fathers have shelved the 11.5 percent increase in the water rates until after the sales tax issue has been voted on. It's time we send a message to the council that it's time to conserve instead of spend spend spend! It's time Baldwin lives within it's means with no new taxes.

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SpeaksSlowlyToIdiots 5 years ago

Ok, Idiot Number 1 for the day is 501gdm2:

"Also I assume the city fathers have shelved the 11.5 percent increase in the water rates until after the sales tax issue has been voted on."

Idiot (that would be you, 501gdm2), you should show up at City Council meetings and carefully pay attention. The City Council, the Mayor,and the City Admi8nistrator stated publicly that they were trying to avoid any water rate increase at all for the next calendar year, but that largely it would depend on how much water was ultimateloy used by the citizens of Baldwin because every gallon of water used in Baldwin is sold to the end user at a loss. You should direct your complaints to the City of Lawrence who raised the wholesale rate to all their municipal customers by over 20%. The City is willing to lose money for the time being so as not to pass on the increased cost to its citizens.

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indasky 5 years ago

Well it is nice to know the city is taking a hit on the water for us temporarily. Maybe if their employees would spend less time driving "our" trucks around and more time working the operating costs of the city would be more manageable. I've been spending a lot of time outside during the week this last summer and fall. In my time outside I've seen in any given hour (more at lunch time) at least 5 city trucks drive by. There have been several times that there was almost a traffic jam from a build up of city vehicles. By the way I do not live in a high traffic area part of town. I don't know what their fuel and maintenace expenses are, but I'm sure they would go a long way to cutting costs.

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indasky 5 years ago

1.Baldwin purchases water from Lawrence, which charges $2.80/1,000 gallons.

2.Lawrence residents pay $2.92/1,000 gallons or .00292/gallon. I believe the base is $2.65

3.Baldwin residents pay $9.621/1,000 gallons or .00962/gallon. Base fee of $6.50.

1.Wellsville gets their water from us(baldwin), or essentially Lawrence. -by code Baldwin charges them $2.80/1,000 gallons for water, the same price Lawrence charges us.

-Wellsville residents pay $4.88/1,000 gallons or .00488/gallon. Base fee of $6.42.

1.My water bill in Lawrence would be $42.18 and $60.57 in wellsville.

2.I know baldwin charges by the cubic foot, but i converted it to gallons so it could be compared to Wellsville and Lawrence. 1 cubic foot=7.48 gallons " Brandons water bill in Baldwin was $132.00

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SpeaksSlowlyToIdiots 5 years ago

indasky,

If you are going to try to make a point using figures, at least try to get those figures correct (unless your entire purpose is to mislead). The City of Baldwin currently pays $3.25 per 1000 gallons to the City of Lawrence as its wholesale rate. Thanks to the City of Lawrence sticking it in and breaking it off, that rate will increase to $3.83 per 1000 gallons as of 2010. That's the wholesale rate charged to Baldwin. Lawrence charges its retail customers a whole lot less than its retail customers (like $3.18 per 1000 gallons).

As of the first of the year the City will charge Wellsville and Edgerton $4.34 per 1000 gallons (wholesale rate). The current rate to them is $3.71 per 1000 gallons.

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indasky 5 years ago

I got the figures from "Brandon" from the speak out last year. I find it hard to believe that the cost of water has decreased in the last year since my water bill has increased and we have installed a low flow toilet, 2 low flow mixing valves and have NO LEAKS. Thanks, but i'm not misleading anyone. Where did you're water facts come from? I can only determine that you are on the city council and are trying your best to justify the outrageous taxes and utilities for this wiskey tango town. This town has no idea what it means to live within its means. property taxes and sales taxes are out of control. We need more practice fields like we need a whole in the head. The improvements to high streeet could have been made faster by my neighbors kids and they would have had enough sense not to plant maple trees at the corners so that traffic can't see around them. Baldwin City needs to quit thinking that theyre somthing they're not. This city is just another dumpy little town west of Gagrdner, not Overland park, or ANYTHING compareable to Johnson County. I'm sorry I moved here.

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501gdm2 5 years ago

Ok Speaks Slow Todiots to answer your comment, I have attended a council meeting one in the 30 years I have lived here and really don't plan on attending another one after the way I was treated. Like other comments here, you must be a council member or city administrator to make comments like your's. I never commented on sites like this until after I attended a council meeting. And now I will continue to make comments without calling anyone names. I'm glad for you that you are confortable paying the high utility bills, high taxes, and always 10 to 15 cents a gallon higher in gas cost in Baldwin. I for one don't understand why everything here has gotten so out of line. We as voters need to say enough is enough and send a message to the council and school board.

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SpeaksSlowlyToIdiots 5 years ago

501gdm2 - "We as voters need to say enough is enough and send a message to the council and school board"

Please do send a message. Most importantly, field some candidates for the next school board election, or run for it yourself. During the last election the two school board positions had NO ONE running to oppose the incumbent school board members. And then folks want to know why the school board doesn't need to feel accountable to the taxpayers and can push for huge bond increases. Why not? After all, it isn't going to cost the board members their spot in the board. To paraphrase De Maistre, every school district gets the school board it deserves.

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SpeaksSlowlyToIdiots 5 years ago

indasky - "Where did you're water facts come from? I can only determine that you are on the city council and are trying your best to justify the outrageous taxes and utilities for this wiskey tango town."

Idiot, these facts are available to all of us citizens. By knowing them we can attempt to keep our government in line. These facts are ALL available online at the City's website as either the City codes or in the minutes from the City's meetings. If the citizens do not pay attention then the government can run roughshod over us. I'm just trying to do my part by being informed. You should do likewise.

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indasky 5 years ago

Yep, you must be a city administrator or council member to resort to name calling and answer peoples posts so arrogantly. With all your knowledge of how this city runs and works you conveniently make Baldwin's problems out to be the school board members. At least I know where my tax dollars are going when the school gets them. The city wants to raise utilities AND taxes and won't tell us where the money will go. I wonder if the city is planning to buy a new convertible with these tax dollars for all the council members and city employees to use when they are driving aimlessly up and down the streets so that they don't have to tolerate the rough ride of the newer truck they've bought. Quit trying to bully the concerned citizens that have the nerve to share their opinions.

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SpeaksSlowlyToIdiots 5 years ago

Indasky - "Yep, you must be a city administrator or council member to resort to name calling and answer peoples posts so arrogantly"

How dare you cast aspersions like that. I am just a citizen of Baldwin like you are. Unlike you, however, I bother to keep myself informed. All you want to do is whine.

Indasky - "you conveniently make Baldwin's problems out to be the school board members. At least I know where my tax dollars are going when the school gets them."

One post ago you were blasting the school board for their wastefulness. Now they are your model for responsible government. You are a hypocrite and obviously your entire purpose for your little temper tantrum is to draw attention to yourself. Just shut the hell up, already.

Indasky - "This city is just another dumpy little town west of Gagrdner, not Overland park, or anything compareable to Johnson County. I'm sorry I moved here."

I'm sorry you moved here also. If you are going to trash my hometown, then why don't you pack up your meager belongings and get the hell out of here? You'd clearly be happier somewhere else and then I wouldn't have to listen to your buffoon-like rantings.

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jmyrick 5 years ago

Wow. I thought the discussion was really going on the sales tax story. Wow. Who says SpeakOut is dead?

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indasky 5 years ago

Since you speak slowly, I can rest assured that you read even slower. I am no hypocrite.

My complaint was.... INDASKY.........." property taxes and sales taxes are out of control. We need more practice fields like we need a whole in the head."

If you're going to quote me.....Get it right. I never said the school board was a model government, I said...

INDASKY.........."At least I know where my tax dollars are going when the school gets them."

And its true, if the city was CLEAR and HONEST about what the taxes were going to be used for, I'm sure more residents would be more understanding. Instead the Council uses words like "Could" when referring to what the tax money will be used for and that strikes more than one person in this town as shady.

As for moving, I would love too, but as you can see, when you wander the streets of Baldwin in the trucks we pay for, there is an awfully lot of houses for sale. There's a lot more people outraged by the frivolous spending, high utilities and taxes than just me. People are LEAVING your home town, and frankly, i can't blame them.

It is clear that you are the angry blogger throwing a tantrum. You have resorted to name calling and using bad language in more than one of your bloggs and belittle anyone who had a different opinion than you. Shame on you, Speaks Slowly. Obviously you need to spend more time in the sand box learning to play well with others. I'm not giving your misbehavior any more attention. You're in time out.

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b8es 5 years ago

Wishful thinking, Jeff. I am afraid the World Company actually did kill SpeakOut. Not your fault, don't blame yourself.

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beevo 5 years ago

Baldwin City's feelings of entitlement have gone on long enough.Does anyone on the City Council have a clue as to the dire financial conditions of its residents? It looks like the Baldwin City Council and Mr. Dingman might be telling people what they want to hear in order to "buy" their votes. Spending money on Ralph Tanner's and Don Nutt's water problem is a good example. We don't have a sidewalk and the few that are in our neighborhood are a hazard to walk on. How about buying my vote. If this sales tax is to pass it should be used for the greater good of our community not individuals and special interests. Vote NO.

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SpeaksSlowlyToIdiots 4 years, 12 months ago

beevo - " If this sales tax is to pass it should be used for the greater good of our community not individuals and special interests."

Congratulations beevo, you have won the distinction of the Idiot du Jour. That is exactly and precisely what the language of both propositions calls for.

Apparently you do not mind besmirching a beloved member of our community, former president of Baker University, and Representative from the 10th District to the State of Kansas by accusing him of having accepted some form of payment for his vote. I am appalled, as are plenty of other citizens that you believe Mr. Tanner is engaged in some form of quid pro quo. May you rot in a special segment of Hell.

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beevo 4 years, 12 months ago

To SpeaksSlowlyToIdiots Thank You! By the way, what would Baldwin City have to do to buy your vote? We already have to much taxation in Baldwin City and you want more. Who is the idiot? VOTE NO and NO.

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SASHA 4 years, 12 months ago

The language should have said, " We the city wish to continue the half cent sales tax to help offset the infrastucture improvements to the future sixth street project." I would vote for that, but not for vague language, and a tax that doesn't end. Is it that painful for the city to be precise about big projects. It passed with the pool because voters knew exactly what the money was going towards. Vote no on this version! The city can rewrite it, and put it on a later election.

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Still_Pool 4 years, 12 months ago

Speaks Slowly:

Have you considered consulting with your doctor about upping your Lithium dosage? Where's all the anger and name calling coming from? I wouldn't be so quick to throw the idiot moniker around. Surely you remember your scriptures "Judge ye not, lest thee be judged an idiot by thy maker and thoust shall have thine countenance be mightily smited in his infinate wisdom." or something like that. I've found it generally true that you dont need to lable someone an idiot. Usually he does so to himself using his own comments.

Indasky,

You're making points about this city government worth thinking about, but you discredit yourself when you call us a "White Trash" town.

Why not try to keep to your issues and not be drawn into the tit-for-tat insults.

Calling this town with it's fine university white trash is just mean spirited and is'nt going to make you seem any more credible. All it's going to get you the reply: "golf-foxtrot-yankee."

Let's try a little civility - and save the venom for those who truly deserve it, such as those in Washington who seem to be on a crazed spending spree...

SP

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jmyrick 4 years, 12 months ago

Ah, it's so good to have you back, still. Please stay. Please.

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Torch 4 years, 12 months ago

Oh heck...why not just keep spending our grand-children's money? They'll just blow it on video games anyway.

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kermit 4 years, 11 months ago

This sales tax issue is a no brainer. Being a resident of the city I expect those that live outside the city limits (particulary those that live in USD 348 school district but do not live in town) to help pay for the infrastructure in Baldwin. They use it as much as we do and this is a way they can help maintain it. Why should just the 4,000 of us who live in the city limits have to fund this all alone with our property taxes? I

Justask, Nan, beevo , torch and others----get off your throne of outrage for a minute and THINK for a minute

. Aren't you sick and tired of listening to those who live just outside the city limits gloat how much cheaper it is for them to live there but yet they call Baldwin home and spend as much time in this town as we do? I hear it all the time and I am angry about it. Seriously---have you ever taken a look at the boundaries for this city. It's crazy. There are many who you would assume live in the city limits by the location of their home but actually do not because of how the boundary lines were drawn up decades ago. These people should help fund our streets and infrastructure.However, the only way we are going to get them to do it is either through an annexation process (fat chance in h#!! that would pass)--or through the sales tax.

Take a look at the numerous people that come through this community every single day and spend money here yet do not live here and do not pay city property taxes here. I think you would be shocked at how high the number really is.

I know for a fact there is a business in this town that literally generates tens of thousands of dollars in sales tax revenue yet only a very small percentage of their customers are Baldwin City residents. The city gets their fair share of this tax bonanza yet very few in the city are paying it. Why would we not want to take as much advantage of that revenue stream as possible?

I understand being frustrated with government and wanting more accountability in your elected officials. However we have a process of accountability and it's every other Monday night at the American Legion. You can show up at the council meetings and look your elected officials in the eye and tell them what you think. If you choose not to do this then your whining about accountability is less persuasive. I am sure those who do the most whining on this site never show at council meetings. Probably because you don't want to be "outed"---and Nancy--well we all know who you are and I doubt you have ever spoken your mind at a council meeting because the poison pen is more your style. My point is --do not whine about accountability when you haven't even tried to talk to your elected officials. Posting on Speakout is fine, but why not actually talk to the decision-makers. They aren't that hard to find.

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Torch 4 years, 11 months ago

Good points Kermit.

Too bad you have to live outside the city limits to afford living in the area though.

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indasky 4 years, 11 months ago

Let's try an old, but successfull method. Drop taxes to raise revenue. I say we cut our sales tax in half and watch people flock here to buy goods meanwhile buisnesses will flock to sell goods unless they find out about the silly little mill levy tax that is killing business in this town(maybe get rid of that one too. Loose the tax and spend Libs and use a little Common Sense. Yes I have read it (Common Sense by Glenn Beck).... I also advise everyone to do the same.

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solo 4 years, 11 months ago

I have given a lot of thought to this vote. I do agree that Baldwin is a very expensive place to live. I am not happy about the school debt that was voted in last November. However, I have decided to vote yes to both ballots tomorrow.

I don't like taxes but i believe in this case the sales tax makes perfect sense. We have so many infrastructure issues in this town I want to see a steady source of income to address the problems as they arise. Having an election everytime an issue comes up is silly and totally unproductive.

Justask wants specifics and I believe he/she is making comparisons to his/her support of the bond issue last year where specifics were required. Justask's logic is that if the school had to do it then the city has to do it.

the problem with this logic is that infrastructure issues are a given and will always be with us. Unlike school bond issues where there will be a finite number of schools to be built in this town. You cannot logically compare the two.

I want storm drainage taken care of in my neighborhood. I want sidewalks repaired and I DEFINITELY don't want my property taxes raised to pay for the north Sixth Street improvements that are scheduled for 2010.

As for the 2nd ballot---it's such a little bit of nothing in the whole scheme of things I will vote for it. If we can get a few walking paths and some improvements to our library out of this little bitty tax then I say "hurray".

Also I do believe that a big chunk of sales tax dollars comes from other than Baldwin City residents. I am all for letting some non residents pick up the tab. Let's take advantage of the masses of ball players and families that were promised to pour into Baldwin now that we have the nifty new ballfields. (BTW--did anyone notice the lights were cranked up this weekend?)

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indasky 4 years, 11 months ago

I really do not understand how everyone on this blog is a consumer yet how few of you have the ability to think like one when considering this issue. Ok let me lay it out for you... I hop in my earth killing SUV with my Dave Ramsey envelope of cash headed with my list and drive right by a perfectly good grocery store and head for Lawrence or Gardener... The holy grail of grocery stores.... Walmart. Then I on a fine day in November I read that the intelligent voters in Baldwin have defeated that silly sales tax issue. Now as I'm considering my weekly attempt to feed my family and stretch my shrinking dollar..... More and more that local store is looking better. Well gas is going up and wow that Baldwin has the lowest sales tax around.... HMMMM! Lets take that a step further... Cut it in half. Now not only people who were driving right by that grocery store are going to it, but so are those people who it is a toss up for them..... HMMM I live half way between Baldwin and Gardner, Lawrence... Well Baldwin has a record low sales tax.... I think I'll spend my dollars there... Then those same people are thinking those same thoughts when they are buying all kinds of goods. I can see the headlines now....6 months after drastically cutting their sales tax a revolutionary small town in North Eastern Kansas is seeing record revenue.

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kermit 4 years, 11 months ago

indasky You are not the only one in town who has read Mr Beck's book and in normal circumstances I would agree with you about dropping taxes to raise revenue. However in this case that would never work unless you get the state to agree to drop their share of the revenue collected from each dollar of sales tax collected in Baldwin City. (What's that about a snowball's chance ??)

Your idea of economic growth stimulating more taxes is right on but haven't you noticed we are surrounded by folks in this community who don't want growth? Every city council/mayoral election we see them posting how they don't want Baldwin to turn into Johnson County etc. They disparge the candidates who encourage growth in a community because they don't want their perfect little town to be destroyed by big, bad business. An industrial park was shot down a few years because of this very narrow mindset. Boy-- the property tax revenue off those businesses sure would have been nice.............

This is one of many reasons there aren't many businesses in town to drive more sales tax dollars. So your theory ---nice as it is----is totally impractical in a community that has a mindset against much, if any growth.

So now we must find a way to live and conduct city business (street repair, storm sewer repair, bridge maintanence) within the confines of the parameters put down by this kind of mindset. A mindset amongst it's citizen's that send most of them running to Checkers or Price Chopper in Lawrence or Gardener under the mistaken impression they are saving money and being oh so practical when it comes to their family's budget.

You see--those of you who are screaming about this sales tax are in all probability doing the bulk of your shopping outside the city limits of Baldwin and therefore feathering the nest of Lawrence and other communities. The foolishness of these actions astounds me. To be intellectually honest you should be doing ALL your shopping in Baldwin.

I am not sure how this ballot will come out. I hope common sense will prevail and the community will stop taking out their frustration with Topeka and Washington DC on our local government. I fear the mindset all over the country is to just say "NO" anytime we get a chance because it is so rare we actually get the chance to tell our officials "NO".

However in this case "YES ,and we will be watching you to make sure you spend it wisely" is the answer.

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SpeaksSlowlyToIdiots 4 years, 11 months ago

kermit,

It's commendable that you want to try to educate our village idiot but clearly if he seeks wisdom from the likes of Glen Beck, et al, then you ain't gonna reach him. He done made up his mind. Plus, since indasky hates our "trashy" little town here and is sorry he moved here I just can't figure out why he's so concerned about our future. I'd like to see him get the flip out of here so we can get on with our business.

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Still_Pool 4 years, 11 months ago

SpeaksSlowly, How quickly do you type to less cerebral bretheren?

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