Bill Wayne's Political Pages - The Gadfly
Gadfly 215
Submitted to the Warrensburg Gazette for November 15, 2003

The Gadfly is a series of letters offering commentary on local issues and published in the Warrensburg Gazette.

A number of interesting tax-related items hit the news last week. One sales tax passed and another one is under consideration, and the County is going to have to pay dearly if it wants to expand its property on West Market Street.

The city parks sales tax was approved by about 14% of the eligible voters. Another 6% opposed it and the other 80% couldnít be bothered. Come April, weíll be paying an extra penny on a basic $1 purchase, except at those establishments which try to price their items to not deal in pennies Ė those businesses will either raise prices or eat the tax themselves. Now, the City will need to deliver on its promises.

Meanwhile, the Sheriff and the County Commission are discussing timing for a sales tax proposal to build a badly-needed new jail. The two dates discussed are August and November, both of which should have fairly high turnouts; this one wonít be a stealth ballot. Back in July, I provided some gratuitous advice for the citizen task force set up by the Sheriff to advise him on needs (and also to help get the issue passed). As a result, I was asked to join the task force, where my focus will be how to minimize tax increases yet still get what we need.

The County has another problem; they want to complete their ownership of the whole block where the new Justice Center is located, possibly to accommodate the proposed new jail. Apparently, the people who own the West Market Street building that once housed the Meda Pine tax Service think itís worth a lot more than the county does. Meanwhile, these same people think a county-owned building across the square is worth a lot less than its appraised value. Iím sure thereís some supply-demand relationships here, but the juxtaposition of valuation of the two buildings gives the appearance of price gouging. Hereís a suggestion - if the County and the owners could accept the otherís valuation of their building, they could swap buildings straight up.

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