Refreshing, to say the least….
Posted: 12 June 2013 12:28 PM   [ Ignore ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  796
Joined  2012-10-10

I feel Manhattan is blessed with the most moderate, non-agenda driven City Commission we’ve had in a long time.  I’ve been extremely impressed with Commissioner Reddi, Commissioner Jankovich, and… for the most part… Commissioner Butler.  Commissioner McCulloh may be there, but I just need some more evidence she can be moderate in her voting.

Last night’s Work Session brought out, as a City staff person suggested, the “power brokers of the community”.  The rich and famous were out in force, complaining because they had to pay taxes on their million dollar homes and multi-million dollar business enterprises.  One mentioned more than once his turning down a million dollar venture here and purchasing a million dollar venture there.  I guess we were all to be impressed with his new home up by Colbert Hills and his regionally high gas prices.  It will be interesting to see if this Commission continues to, as one Commissioner put it, “look out for the other 53,000 residents of Manhattan”.  Or, will political pressure from ‘snob hill’ get them to move tax from commerical to residential so that the less fortunate can do more to support the wealthy?

It was also good to hear what would have, in the presence of earlier commissions, been blasphemous by calling the Chamber/CVB on the carpet.  Hopefully, holding that entity accountable, as promised by one commissioner, will hold true. 

What a breath of fresh air!!!  I may not always agree with the votes cast, but I feel at least 3 to 4 commissioners will have performed exhaustive research on each and every issue and will vote “their” conscience… not be mere puppets for the shadow government that has so long controlled much of our community.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 June 2013 11:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  43
Joined  2012-10-10

Commercial Property tax is a huge issue for our area not just because it effects The Gas Guzzler or The Major Property Manager Builder. It effects the overhead of every single business in Manhattan- Mom and Pop stores and the Big Box.

Im sure you were wondering about this- This is just one entity for our Major Gas Supplier. Total tax broken down per building with the total at the end. Granted they also rent and have to pay the taxes for the other buildings such as the Candle Wood area which the whole strip shares the tax of 139,668.54. The Ville- shares $27,167.34, Pays the full amount of 9,158.06 for anderson, Pays full amount for Claflin 8,249.18, Pott county isnt as forthcoming on their tax info but those are also rented.

No reason to continually bring up where he lives. He got a hell of a price on it. The only bad thing was he bought Princes House.

FYI- This took 10 minutes to figure out. Done with my lunch break-
My opinion is it doesn’t seem that bad. An average of $3784 per location.

It hurts when a lessor is paying the tax of $14,668.58 for a business- Changing names to protect identity.
Famous Dougs BBQ pays- 50,785.46 in building tax
Kansas Roudhouse- 22,342.78
Manhattan Mercurius NewsPaper Company- $16,664.66
I think you get the idea- Small business will not thrive.

1,469.00
15,787.34
1,731.24
1,951.66
2,230.90
1,842.74
1,113.76
1,969.96
1,851.38
2,965.50
12,897.24
4,345.02
5,885.94
2,065.52
2,150.10
290.54
60,547.84

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 June 2013 11:30 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  43
Joined  2012-10-10

Meant to add this—- The people you call Shadow Govt pay $20,378.48 for their building… So at least they have the right to have a voice and being active in making our city better (matter of opinion that probably isnt yours).

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 June 2013 12:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  796
Joined  2012-10-10

Josh, your points are quite valid.  I’m not disputing that commerical property taxes are too high.  What I am disputing is theme implied by some of those appearing during the Work Session… that a portion of the commercial propety tax burden should be shifted to residential.  If I misunderstood this intimation, I stand corrected.

Taxes are pricing Manhattan out of being an affordable place to live.  We brag about the growth we’ve financed.  As one of the commissioners questioned Tuesday, the growth simply ain’t payin’ it’s own way.  Why are we handing the Chamber a million dollars/year to fly all over the U.S., attempting to land more entites that will add to the tax burden?  The one presenter complained that he lost much of his help when Texas Roadhouse opened.  Said he used to compete with the call center.  That most certainly adds to his overhead if he has to pay a premium, competing for workers with the others who pay on the lower end of the pay scale.

Somebody mentioned Florence Mfg and their $300,000/year property tax bill that is waived.  How many do they currently employ?  How many of those employees live and pay property taxes in Manhattan?

We continue to allow retail business that will pay part time help minimum wage to build in the flood plain… adding to the flooding problem that raises the cost of living as we seek solutions.  We add City staff each year.  As some of the higher paid staff people move on, we spend money for nationwide searches in an attempt to find folks we can justify paying more than those who left.  Cannot some of these positions be filled be spreading duties to existing staff and begin to pare down City employee numbers? 

We’re probably mere days away from the School District soaking us with another tax increase.  CVB and the County both are tossing money at someone’s dream of a Taj Mahal recreation facility that there isn’t even space for in the City Limits of Manhattan… and probably won’t even be located in Riley County.  We’ve tossed money at someone’s dream of a Visitor’s Center at I-70 and 177… not in Manhattan and not in Riley County.  A City Commissioner is suggesting putting a restaurant in the Discovery Center.  If that is underwritten by tax dolalrs, isn’t that unfair competition to other similar venues? 

What it boils down to is this.  One of those appearing Tuesday afternoon told the Commission that instead of raising the mil levy 2. some odd mils, it needs to be lowered 2. some odd mils.  We have a finance director who laughs when that is suggested.  We need a Commission that demands it!!  If our streets go to pot, perhaps the citizens will understand how much that budget has been cut just so that RCPD’s budget can be increased.  If we can’t make enough water for Colbert Hills to keep their golf course green, perhaps folks will begin asking why we had to build spend extra tax dollars so the new firehouse, there, “fit in with snob hill”.  If the weeds get a little high in our pocket parks, perhaps people will begin to ask why we can’t offset the mowing cost by charging The Marlins for pool use.  We’re financing day care facilities at our Zoo.  We’re financing additions to the Library when the interest in print media is declining. 

I firmly believe Manhattan could cut their costs of operation significantly.  We could make Manhattan more inviting to small businesses and more affordable for citizens.  So far, I don’t believe we have the commitment from the City Commission nor City Staff to do so.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 13 June 2013 03:57 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
Member
RankRank
Total Posts:  43
Joined  2012-10-10

Well Said.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 June 2013 01:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  479
Joined  2012-10-10

Larry;  I do not want us (the city) to go into the restaurant business at the DC.  It was designed upstairs for a restaurant, it has the kitchen area etc.  I want the city to have an RFP for some private entity to set up shop.  The DC would get some form of rent to offset our tax cost.  It could be set up as a percent of sales or something.  Might be a good deal for someone wanting to set up a restaurant business as the tax rate on the DC is not very large and as long as the city is not too greedy on the rent it could work out as a good thing for everyone. 
I would like to see the city do the same with the day care at the zoo.  Do an RFP and hand it off to a private company.
One other note the Mercury stated that I was for a used fire truck, that is not the case.  They misquoted a comment made during public discussion, not sure which speaker was for the used truck.  But I never made the statement.  Fire trucks cost a few dollars, but I think new in this case provided a better long term cost benefit. 

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 June 2013 04:00 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  796
Joined  2012-10-10

Wynn, if a private entity operating in the DC were to benefit from “the tax rate on the DC is not very large”, that would be a hugely unfair advantage for those restaurants having to pay the going price for rent.  The City should not be in the business of “funding the privileged”.  RFP??  Bet that would end up going to one of the current “Power Brokers”.  We’d see a Dreiling or Darrah convince the Commission to allow them the opportunity to prosper from that advantage.  If you want a restaurant there, find what the going rate would be for one in the lower level of the new Civics Plus building or what someone like Old Chicago is paying.  Charge what is on the same level as other similar facilities would charge and have that rent go to assist in paying some of the DC’s way.

The used fire truck was the suggestion of “he who soaks us on gas prices”.  His sermon to the Commission went from complaining about taxes on one million dollar venture while bragging about others.  Said he recently started and ice business and had bought a used truck for his ice deliveries.

Profile
 
 
Posted: 15 June 2013 12:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
Member
RankRankRankRank
Total Posts:  479
Joined  2012-10-10

Larry, The RFP needs to take into consideration what you mentioned.  The original idea for the DC was to include an eating establishment of some type.  Maybe one of the local folks can bid on the idea. I agree that what ever structure is put in place should not shut out other establishments from the standpoint of competition.  The space is not that large, but the deck on the back would be an attraction.  In either case the proceeds would help fund the DC.  Maybe it might break even.

Profile
 
 
   
 

Terms of Service | Privacy Policy | The Manhattan Mercury, 318 North 5th Street, Manhattan, Kansas, 66502

Reproduction of any kind is prohibited without written consent.