KC Monitor column – Public Meeting Planned on 50% Tax Hike in Overland Park

link: http://kcmonitor.com/columnists/kansas-report/public-meeting-planned-on-50-tax-hike-in-overland-park-4384

Public Meeting Planned on 50% Tax Hike in Overland Park

Massive tax increase will be approved August 15, unless citizens object Monday.
07.31.11 | By: 

Whether or not you live in Overland Park, this Monday night may be your only opportunity to stop your property taxes from rising.  If you do live in Overland Park, it is your final chance to stop a 46% tax increase, one that will raise property taxes by $100 for an owner of a $200,000 home.  This is on top of the “silent” property tax increases that occur through government appraisals.

This Monday at 7:30 p.m., Overland Park has scheduled a public hearing on the proposed 2012 budget, the final hearing before the August 15 meeting where they will formally approve the 46% property tax increase.  You can see the city’s online calendar here.

Overland Park officials have made almost no effort in asking for input from small businesses and citizens.  Councilman Jim Hix even admitted to The Johnson County Sun that he hadn’t really tried.  The Sun reported, “Hix said he is not sure how residents will react.”

City Hall is located near 85th St. and Antioch Road.  The exact address is 8500 Santa Fe Drive.  Fordriving directions, click here on or the map.

Here is why this affects you, no matter where you live in Kansas City:  local elected officials and administrators throughout the region are watching the Overland Park property tax vote.  Many of them want to increase taxes, but they don’t want to do it by themselves.  Consider these words fromKansas City Star editorial board member Yael Abouhalkah, about Overland Park city manager Bill Ebel:  “Ebel has become somewhat of a hero to other city administrators in the Kansas City region. Most of them would love to make a similar proposal to retain employees and maintain services.”

The big government ball is already rolling in some cities.  In MissouriWyandotte County plans a 9%property tax increase, the Center School District wants a huge 76% property tax increase, andGrandview is trying to raise its hotel tax.

In KansasLenexa wants an 11% property tax increase, and Prairie Village is considering a tax increase.

Perhaps the bigger story is this:  KSHB 41 reports that in recent months, more than a dozen businesses in Mission, KS, have announced their closing or moving.  Just a year ago, the Mission City Council voted for a large tax increase of its own.  It was done through a darkly-hilarious and unheard-of “driveway tax,” which increased taxes $72 for an average homeowner, thousands for small business owners, and $64,750 for Target.  Because Mission chose to also apply the property tax to churches, the Alliance Defense Fund and local churches are suing the city, calling it a tax on religious activity.

How long until Overland Park notices business and citizens leaving to escape the city’s sales taxes and property taxes?

Go to this public hearing Monday night, and tell Overland Park officials to cut wasteful spending instead of raising taxes.