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March 05, 2008

Appropriate use of taxes

Union Station funding

Come on now, why should we throw more money into a failing Union Station (3/1, A-1, “Union Station directors back property tax rise”)? Let’s not forget the $40 million endowment they have gone through. Sure they have changed management, but don’t raise my taxes for another try.

When they were broke they bought a collection of old trains. I don’t know if the collection has made a difference, but I don’t want my taxes raised to give them another chance. From what I hear, Science City was ill-conceived as the major attraction and has never performed as promised.

We are looking at a new tax for light rail, greatly increased water and sewer rates — and who knows what other taxes are lurking. With the city budget in trouble, the city (taxpayers) cannot support all the things that the whole region enjoys: the zoo, Union Station, stadiums, arenas, the World War I museum, etc.

Troy C Bell Jr.
Kansas City

Gee, why am I not surprised the Union Station directors want a property tax increase? From the beginning, this was acknowledged to be an iffy endeavor. Bistate was passed, yet here we are again being asked for funds.

I suspect the directors and others most intimately involved in Union Station are, for the most part, persons of means, to whom the inevitable $4 a gallon gasoline and rising utility bills do not represent a crucial concern. Taxpayers already bear substantial costs for the stadiums, and light rail will never be self-sustaining. Worthy projects to be sure, but in this economy when do we say, “enough?”

C.F. Ring
Liberty

No more property taxes

A huge, emphatic no to more property taxes. This includes Union Station, Liberty Memorial, the sewer system, etc.

We already pay for schools, libraries and some health services. Home values are declining, foreclosures are increasing and our city leaders still look to penalize property owners with more taxes.

It is time to share the burden with everyone through a sales tax, or find the funds elsewhere.

Jeanette Fitzsimmons
Kansas City

Comments

Engineer

jack
If you checked, I think you would find that most charges for sewerage service are based on water use. However, the big problems with separate sanitary sewers is not the sewage but the ground and surface water that gets into the sewer system. There is no quick and easy fix for these problems The remedies are costly, time consuming, disruptive and expensive. Many of the problems are in the house laterals which are on private property, and which are themselves private property. And the above says nothing about the extremely difficult, almost mind boggling, problems that will be encountered in separating the City's main and central combined sewer system. While reading YA's idiot column this AM a well known law occurred to me: "Nothing is impossible to the man who doesn't have to do it himself". Especially if he knows nothing about the subject.

devin

For having very little to attract people, the Sprint Center sure seems to have drawn a lot of fire since it opened for shows selling out too fast. Apparently somebody (18000+ somebodies, actually) wants to go there. I've seen lines out the door of numerous restaurants and bars more times than I can count since they started opening up. I know it's going to spoil your perpetually sour mood, NMMNG, but I think something really good is happening in the P&L District. Yeah, it's taxpayer-subsidized, but the people coming from out of town (thousands will be here for several days just for the Big 12 tourney) are going to add a lot of money to the city. Hope that good news doesn't spoil your day.

BTW, before you rant and rave about the inconsistency of people spending money on frivolous entertainment in the midst of tough economic times, I'd like to point out that Hollywood and the film industry were born during the Great Depression. It's human nature for people to want to escape their problems. The tradition of profiting from escapism is as old as society.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

Solly is correct, they really screwed the pooch by putting the casinos on the "river front". Had they put casinos along where Solly identified it would drive much more tourism and convention business to the DT and Mid town area, hence justifying light rail, taxes on tourism would be just like every city with good influx of tourism.
Now we have a face lifted downtown but very little to drive and attract people to go there. We do have several new section 8 luxury lofts though! As for the sewers falling apart, well, blame people like Shields for that and Barnes for that, taxes are collected specifically fot sewers everytime a water bill is levied. Yet another case of why I do not want government running my retirement, healthcare or family budget.

jack

It is awfully hard to justify spending like this when the sewers are falling apart.

Simple plan for paying for rehabbing the sewers: Base charges on water use. The more water you use, the more you pay for the sewers.

solomon

When the question of gambling was put to Mo voters there was an iniative to have the Station become a casino. The Hall family spent many dollars to see that gambling would go to the riverfronts so the plan would go nowhere. Imagine what a destination it could have become if there was a casino between the Crossroads, Sprint center and the Plaza.

Marctnts

It is becoming apparent that KC residents don't value the facility enough to keep supporting it with increasing amounts of tax dollars. That's fine, we gave it a chance with the bi-state, and it has yet to stand on it's own legs.

The simple answer. Sell the building to a private owner (and cut the losses). Everyone will pay $12 to go inside and thousands to rent it out for an event.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

Cutting costs? No way. Spend spend spend then force someone else to pay for your shortfalls, that's the new Hope and Change.

Stifled Freedom

It might just be time for the directors to look for ways to cut costs. I am sure they dont want to hear that.

NoMoreMrNiceGuy

When are people going to stand up against government and REFUSE to pay more taxation?
Everyone should simply not refuse to pay it, what are they going to do, throw everyone in debtors prison?
Government continues it's frivilous spending yet they mandate to many of us how we must budget. If they raise property taxes in JaCo, I will refuse to pay it and if they have a problem with it, we can go to battle.

 
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