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Message from Mayor Wassmer: HB 2109

Post Date:06/04/2015 11:20 AM

Message from Prairie Village Mayor Laura Wassmer:

Kansas legislators in Topeka are hastily considering a significant change in tax policy for all Kansas cities and counties. I want Prairie Village residents to be aware of this damaging fiscal policy that will have negative impacts to our Prairie Village budget for years to come.

I strongly oppose the action taken by the Kansas Senate to adopt an amendment to HB 2109. The amendment prohibits cities from increasing property taxes beyond the Consumer Price Index rate unless the increase is approved by a costly and time consuming local election. The regulation takes no consideration for new construction, reappraisal growth, cost of providing services, and local preferences. This is an erosion of choice by local elected officials and is some Kansas legislators’ effort to control city and county budgets from Topeka.

I believe local taxing decisions are best left to locally elected officials; this issue is unrelated to the state budget. This proposal did not receive a hearing and was passed without public notice, input, research or testimony, which is improper and does not represent good government.

Unlike the development of the State’s budget, the City of Prairie Village has an open and transparent budget process, including publication of the budget, public hearings, and passage of an ordinance in the event the city seeks to bring in more revenue than the previous year.

I ask the Kansas Legislators to focus on the state’s self-inflicted imbalanced budget and not dabble in the City of Prairie Village’s fiscally sound, transparent, and balanced budget that funds high quality services and produces an AAA bond rating, which is better than the state of Kansas.

If you feel the state legislators should focus on the state’s budget issues and not impact your City’s budget, I urge you to contact your Kansas state senators and representatives and ask them to oppose the tax lid amendments to HB 2109.

Meghan Buum

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