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59% of Overland Park voters say city tax increases hurt the local economy. But OP Council passes 46% increase by 13-0 vote.

My Email to voters today in Johnson County, Kansas.

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

Greetings:

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.

SUMMARY:

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:

Telephone survey among likely November 2012 voters in Overland Park, KS.  Conducted Tuesday, August 9; and Wednesday, August 10.  Margin of error +/- 5.4%.  Party breakdown:  51% Republican, 29% Unaffiliated, 20% and Democratic. 55% Female, and 45% Male.  50% over the age of 50, and 50% under the age of 50.  For survey wording (questions 1 through 18), click here.  For accompanying information for comparison and background purposes, click here.  To view part 1 of our results, click here.  More information about survey methodology can be found at the bottom of this page.

Question: “Do you think city tax increases help the local economy, hurt the local economy, or have no impact on the economy?”  (Question #12 on our survey)

Impact of city tax increases
on local economy: Count Percent
Help the local economy:           71       20.9%

Hurt the local economy:          199       58.5%

No impact:                                    50      14.7%

Undecided:                                  20        5.9%

Total:                        340       100%

Question: “Do you think decreases in government spending by the city, would help the local economy, hurt the local economy, or have no impact on the economy?” (Question #13 on our survey)

Impact of city spending
cuts on local economy: Count Percent
Help the local economy:           149      43.8%

Hurt the local economy:              93       27.4%

No impact:                                     76       22.4%

Undecided:                                   22        6.5%

Total:                        340       100%

Further information on methodology:  The survey was performed using a recorded voice, and respondents were asked to push buttons to answer questions.  Voters were called if they were registered to vote in Overland Park, and if they had voted in the November election of 2008 and/or the November election of 2010. Gender and age were determined by question, and party affiliation was determined by registration data.

TO COMPARE: A Look at Similar National Polls

- On April 30, 2011, Rasmussen Reports 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.”

- On August 12, 2011, Rasmussen wrote:
“When it comes to job creation and improving the overall economy, voters think tax cuts will work better than government solutions.  A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely U.S. Voters shows that 62% believe cutting taxes is better than increasing government spending when it comes to creating jobs. Twenty percent (20%) say increased government spending does more to create jobs, while nearly the same number (18%) are undecided. (To see survey question wording, click here.)  Voters are more narrowly divided on what’s better for the economy in the long term. While 38% think government job creation is the better way to go, 49% say tax cuts are a better long-term solution. Twelve percent (12%) are not sure.

These results are not surprising considering voters have consistently said that cutting taxes and reducing government spending are good for the economy.

The partisan differences are predictable. Republicans and voters not affiliated with either party strongly favor tax cuts over increased government spending to create jobs, while Democrats are evenly divided on the question. Most Democrats (60%) view government job creation as better for the economy in the long run, while 77% of Republicans and the plurality (47%) of unaffiliated voters see tax cuts as a better economic move.”

- From a July 20-24 poll, the Pew Research Center asked:  “If the government makes major cuts in federal spending in an effort to reduce the budget deficit, do you think these cuts would help the job situation, hurt the job situation, or not have much of an effect either way?”

Pew Research found:

  • 26% thought it would help the job situation
  • 27% thought it would hurt the job situation
  • 39% thought it would not have much of an effect
  • 1% thought it would have a mixed effect
  • 7% were unsure or refused to answer

Remember, this tax increase affects you, whether or not you live in Overland Park.  When one local government increases taxes, it gives cover for other cities and schools to do the same.  They’re confident that you, the voter, will not be paying close enough attention to these tax increases.  And don’t just take my word for it.  Consider these words from Kansas City Star editorial board member Yael Abouhalkah, about Overland Park city manager Bill Ebel:  “Ebel has become somewhat of a hero to other city administrators in the Kansas City region. Most of them would love to make a similar proposal to retain employees and maintain services.”

The big government ball is already rolling in some cities.  In Missouri, the Center School District approvedproperty tax increase, but only by 200 votes.  Grandview approved a 5% sales tax increase at hotels.

In Kansas, Lenexa wants an 11% property tax increase, and Prairie Village is considering a tax increase, and Wyandotte County plans a 9% property tax increase.


Also remember: Tax increases, along with the constant uncertainty of tax levels, have negative consequences on the local economy:

KSHB 41 reports that in recent months, more than a dozen businesses in Mission, KS, have announced their closing or moving.  Just a year ago, the Mission City Council voted for a large tax increase of its own.  It was done through a darkly-hilarious and unheard-of “driveway tax,” which increased taxes $72 for an average homeowner, thousands for small business owners, and $64,750 for Target.  Because Mission chose to also apply the property tax to churches, the Alliance Defense Fund and local churches are suing the city, calling it a tax on religious activity.
Contact information from the city government Web site :
Mayor Carl Gerlach

Ward 1
Councilmember Terry Happer Scheier
Councilmember Dave Janson

Ward 2
Council President Curt Skoog
Councilmember Paul Lyons

Ward 3
Councilmember Donna Owens
Councilmember David White

Ward 4
Councilmember Fred Spears
Councilmember Terry Goodman

Ward 5
Councilmember Jim Hix
Councilmember John Skubal

Ward 6
Councilmember Rick Collins
Councilmember Dan Stock

———–

Thank you for your time, as always.

Sincerely,

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
- Chair, Special Committee on Eminent Domain
and Property Rights, County Government, 2006
- Kansas Republican Party Delegate, 2009-’10

Email: contact@benjaminhodge.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/hodge.benjamin
Twitter:  www.twitter.com/benjaminhodge
Web: KansasReform.com
Phone: (913) 259-4236

 

______________________

Connect with Benjamin Hodge at FacebookTwitterLinkedInThe Kansas Progress, and LibertyLinked. Hodge is President of the State and Local Reform Group of Kansas.  He served as one of seven at-large trustees at Johnson County Community College from 2005-’09, a member of the Kansas House from 2007-’08, a delegate to the Kansas Republican Party from 2009-’10, and was founder of the Overland Park Republican Party in 2011.  His public policy record is recognized by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Association of Broadcasters,the Kansas Press Association, the Kansas Sunshine Coalition for Open Government, the NRAKansans for Life, and the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education (FIRE).

 


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