Letter to the editor
A bait and switch?
To the editor:
If the concerned taxpayers of Leavenworth County think the city of Leavenworth is not fulfilling its commitment regarding the use of county sales tax revenues, they should be climbing the walls about the Leavenworth County Commission's "bait and switch" tactic used in the 1996 sales tax election. The "bait" was the first ballot question the county commission presented that promised the voters that said sales tax revenues would be used to "finance the cost of constructing, furnishing and equipping a county jail and Justice Center."
The "switch" came in the second ballot question to authorize $21,700,000 of bonds that would only, "Pay part of the cost of constructing, furnishing and quipping a county jail and Justice Center."
What the voters were not told was that because of the 10-year sunset, sales tax revenues could only finance construction costs and that property taxes would have to pay for everything else.
Also, the voters were not told that the sales tax without a "sunset" proposed by the mayors of Leavenworth, Lansing, Tonganoxie and Basehor would "finance the cost of constructing, furnishing and equipping a county jail and Justice Center" as well as pay for other much needed county road improvements.
Now, after a 16 percent property tax increase by Leavenworth County, the voters know they were presented a shortsighted sales tax with a "sunset" that could only pay for construction of the Justice Center, instead of the forward-thinking sales tax without a "sunset" that would build, furnish and equip the Justice Center and fund much needed road and bridge improvements at the same time.
David A. Greenamyre,