Benjamin B. Hodge
- Chair, State & Local Reform Educational Group of Kansas
- State Representative (Overland Park and Olathe), 2007-’08
- Johnson County Community College Trustee, 2005-’09
Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Poll: 59% of Overland Park Voters Think City Tax Increases
Will Hurt the Local Economy
MORE POLLING INFORMATION RELEASED ABOUT
THE CONSERVATIVE VIEWS OF OVERLAND PARK VOTERS
Monday night, Overland Park City Council unanimously passed 46% property tax increase,
despite holding only one public hearing, and strong public opposition
Monday, I wrote to you about the scientific poll demonstrating that 67% of likely 2012 Overland Park voters preferred spending cuts, rather than tax increases, in order to balance the city budget. When respondents were asked specifically about the proposed 46% property tax increase, an overwhelming number – 80% – of voters opposed the tax increase. And 83% of likely 2012 voters wanted more public hearings on next year’s city budget. There was only only one public hearing after the budget was announced, and this public hearing occurred after the Council had already unanimously voted to tentatively approve the 46% tax increase.
Unfortunately, on Monday night the City Council voted unanimously 13-0 to increase city property taxes by 46%. Here are some news accounts:
Today, we are releasing more information about the fiscally conservative views of Overland Park voters. The following information is from a poll conducted by the State and Local Educational Foundation of Kansas.
A strong majority - 59% – of Overland Park voters believe city tax increases hurt the local economy. Twenty-one percent (21%) of voters believe tax increases help the economy. Fifteen percent (15%) believe there is no impact on the economy, and 6% are undecided.
When it comes to cuts in city government spending, a plurality – 44% - believe they help the local economy. Twenty-seven percent (27%) believe spending cuts hurt the local economy, 22% believe there is no impact on the economy, and 7% are undecided.
Our own results among Overland Park voters compare closely with national results by the respected polling firm Rasmussen Reports. On April 30, 2011, Rasmussen wrote:
“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 53% of Likely U.S. Voters say, generally speaking, tax cuts help the economy. Most voters have shared that sentiment in surveys for years. Only 21% believe tax cuts hurt the economy, while 13% say they have no impact. Another 13% are not sure. (to see survey question wording, click here.) A plurality (48%) of voters say decreases in government spending will help the economy. Twenty-nine percent (29%) say cutting government spending will hurt the economy. Ten percent (10%) believe such decreases will have no impact, while 13% are not sure. These findings, too, have remained fairly consistent over the years.”
DETAILED INFORMATION BELOW: (more…)
Council, Chamber get ‘bold’
A 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.” (more…)
(Update: You can also click here for the text of the ruling. Click below for a PDF version).
NEW YORK, June 12 (Reuters) – U.S. trucking company YRC Worldwide Inc (YRCW.O) has decided not to apply for money from the U.S. government’s bailout program, but instead will push for federal reform to help cope with pension problems.
YRC, based in Overland Park, Kansas, won’t submit an application with the Treasury Department under the Troubled Asset Relief Program, and instead will focus on long-term pension reform, company representative Suzanne Dawson said on Friday.
Retired Kansas State Senator and former GOP Third District Congressional nominee Nick Jordan released the following statement on Thursday of last week. Thursday was the day Vice President Joe Biden traveled to Overland Park to attempt to justify the unjustifiable — that the wasteful and damaging “stimulus” is a good thing.
In the statement, Jordan sounds like the GOP of post-2004: voicing support for “economic conservativism” while simultaneously supporting liberal spending programs. It’s likely that Jordan also is trying to play it safe with Overland Park Mayor Carl Gerlach, whose record is that of an economic and social liberal, but who is popular within the country clubs of Johnson County Republican liberals. Gerlach is exactly the type of mayor targeted by Obama: Gerlach will happily take Obama’s earmarked federal money for what he and Nick Jordan inappropriately consider “needed projects,” provided that the mayor gets a few headlines for it. Gerlach willingly allows himself to be used by Obama and the left.
Nick Jordan is a very nice man, but if he wants to have a future within the Republican party, he needs to get off the fence and pick sides in the war of Socialism: either he will choose the path to American (and electoral) success that involves major spending and tax reform; or he will choose the center-left path that leads to the long-term failure of the nation and GOP irrelevance. (more…)
Gubernatorial candidate Sam Brownback today announced his statewide co-chairs for his 2010 campaign.
Brownback picked Overland Park attorney John D. Petersen and Wichita City Councilwoman Sue Schlapp.
Petersen served as state finance chair for Gov. Bill Graves. He is a former deputy chief counsel to Sen. Bob Dole and chief counsel to former Kansas Gov. Mike Hayden.
April 1, 2009 Agenda for the April 13 Planning Commission meeting The Planning Commission will meet at 1:30 p.m. Monday, April 13, in the Council Chamber of City Hall, 8500 Santa Fe Drive (map). The agenda has been posted to the city’s Web site.* The public is welcome to attend Planning Commission meetings. If you need accommodations, please contact Leslie Karr, 913/895-6190 (Kansas Relay Service 1-800-766-3777). Please give 48 hours’ notice. The Online Development Center is available for the public to comment on Planning Commission agenda items, or you may contact the Planner of the Day at 913/895-6217. Information on other boards and commissions and the City Council agenda also can be found on the city’s Web site, www.opkansas.org.
Feb. 26, 2009
Agenda for the March 9 Planning Commission meeting
The Planning Commission will meet at 1:30 p.m. Monday, March 9, in the Council Chamber of City Hall, 8500 Santa Fe Drive (map). The agenda has been posted to the city’s Web site. **
The public is welcome to attend Planning Commission meetings. If you need accommodations, please contact Leslie Karr, 913/895-6190 (Kansas Relay Service 1-800-766-3777). Please give 48 hours’ notice.
The Online Development Center is available for the public to comment on Planning Commission agenda items, or you may contact the Planner of the Day at 913/895-6217.
Information on other boards and commissions and the City Council agenda also can be found on the city’s Web site, www.opkansas.org.
** This agenda is subject to change. Please check back frequently for updates.
When Jim Kostusik appeared at Overland Park City Hall to obtain a building permit for a single-family home recently, the employee on the other side of the counter looked at him with surprise, then peered at the ceiling.
“I said, ‘What’s going on?’” recalled Kostusik, who owns Redstone Homes Inc. in Overland Park. “He said: ‘I’m waiting for the confetti and balloons to start dropping. You’re the first (single-family) permit this month.’”
What made the event strange was that Kostusik got his permit on Jan. 29. In a more typical year, Overland Park would have issued dozens of single-family permits by that date, and Johnson County would have been on target for another market-leading year of several thousand housing starts. But this has not been a typical year for wealthy Johnson County or its largest city, Overland Park (population: 173,000).
There are five questions:
Which of these local governments is the most out of touch with its citizens?
Johnson County Government
Which of these local governments best represents the views of its citizens?
In general, do you trust local elected officials in Johnson County?
In general, do you think your mayor is a:
If you had two choices: to either keep all local elected politicians, or to replace them all with individuals selected at random from the phone book: