brad cooper. 6 days, 13 hours ago
Conservative Republican Ben Hodge is circulating a poll on the Internet in a last-ditch effort to get Overland Park to vote down a property tax increase Monday night.
In a poll of 340 likely voters (not sure how many were property owners), 80 percent said they were opposed to a 46 percent increase in property taxes. Fourteen percent said they supported it and 6 percent said they were undecided.
The proposed tax increase is 4.1 mills, from 8.876 mills to 12.976 mills. It equates to about $122 more on a $250,000 home in Overland Park. The city’s population: 173,000.
The council members approved the increase unanimously, and took time to blast the poll as a biased attempt to distort the issue. One even questioned the sample size of 340 out of a city with a population of 173,000.
Some city officials complained about getting calls from residents thinking that they’re entire property tax bill was going to increase by 46 percent and not just the city’s portion.
Council members said they believed there was an undercurrent of opposition that wanted to see the city ultimately fail.
Even after the tax increase, Overland Park’s property tax rate would still be significantly less than the tax rates in Olathe (24.8 mills), Lenexa (26.6 mills), Leawood (24.4 mills) and Shawnee (24.7 mills) and Prairie Village (which will go to 19.5 mills with a recently approved .6-mill property tax increase).
Hodge said his poll had a margin of error of 5.4 percent and was conducted Aug. 9 and 10. He said 51 percent of those polled were Republican, 29 percent unaffiliated and 20 percent were Democrats.
Here was an interesting question from the poll that he posted on the Internet.
“Generally speaking, would you prefer a more active government with more services and higher taxes, or a smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes?”
Twenty-seven percent answered they wanted a more active government and 65 percent of those polled said wanted smaller government, Hodge reportedsaid said they e” said no. A little more than 8 percent was undecided.
And one more question: “Would making cuts to city services be acceptable to you? Or unacceptable to you?”
Fifty-five percent said acceptable, 34 percent said unacceptable, 11 percent was undecided.
Hodge is also protesting that Overland Park only had one public hearing on the budget after it was unveiled this summer. The city put the budget – and the tax proposals – out for public consumption on June 6.