Op-ed, Ben Hodge in KC Monitor – Overland Park City Council wants to jam through a huge property tax increase

Read the whole article by former Overland Park Representative Benjamin Hodge, here at the KC Monitor.

In part:

Council, Chamber get ‘bold’

Kansas City Star editorial tells us the “bold” choices being offered by Overland Park City Manager Bill Ebel: “One plan from Ebel would boost the city’s mill levy by 46 percent and bring in more than $10 million a year in new revenue. The other option, a 41 percent increase, would create an extra $9 million annually.”

So, those are the innovative ideas of today’s Overland Park Council: either a 41% increase, or else a 46% tax increase in spending.

Star editorial board member Yael Abouhalkah describes Ebel as “somewhat of a hero to other city administrators in the Kansas City region,” who “would love to make a similar proposal.”

Not at all surprisingly, the Overland Park Chamber of Commerce has endorsed the massive property tax increase proposal.

Chamber President Tracey Osbourne – apparently not appreciating that there are people who live, work, and shop outside of Overland Park because of high taxes, or that a lower regulatory environment creates a high quality of life – wrote, “The leadership of our chamber feels strongly that the increase is necessary to maintain the high quality of life and city services that continually make Overland Park one of the nation’s most desirable places to live and work.” That’s reported by the once-trusted Olathe News, now owned by The Kansas City Star.

I’ll quote one more time Tracey Osbourne, completely unfazed that businesses will flee Overland Park under these types of laws: “Osborne said in an interview that the chamber supported the higher tax plan because it would funnel money back into the city’s reserves faster and preserve the city’s AAA bond rating, which saves interest when the city borrows money.”

It’s always interesting when public officials endorse both “funneling” and “borrowing” by government, in a single interview.

The Star‘s Abouhalkah writes that the chamber’s endorsement makes it “even more likely the City Council will approve the tax boost later this summer.”

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