The Leavenworth County Commission is preparing information to ask its new and existing legislators when they meet in a little over a week.
The commission will meet with the local political delegation at 7 a.m. Jan. 9 at the Lansing Community Center in the lower level of Lansing City Hall, 800 First Terrace. The legislative breakfast, part of a tradition for most of the area’s municipal governments before the beginning of each year’s legislative session, will be hosted by the city of Lansing. County Administrator Pat Hurley said the events give the leaders of those local governments a unique opportunity to interact with their leaders in Topeka and Washington.
“I think it’s very important that we have the opportunity to communicate directly with our legislators,” he said.
They’ll likely have plenty to communicate about. Before the date was set for the breakfast, the commission had already reviewed an extensive list of legislative priorities from the Kansas Association of Counties, singling out those they felt were most important and adding a few of their own.
In those past discussions, the county has identified a number of issues as important to them — a proposal to change the way that some business equipment “fixtures” are taxed is one, while the estimates that revenue to the state will decrease by hundreds of millions of dollars next year because of cuts in individual and small business income taxes is another. Commissioners say they are worried that those revenue shortfalls will result in cuts to state programs and services that the municipalities will either have to forego or make up themselves through property taxes, though limitations to property taxing abilities has also been mentioned as a potential legislative goal for 2013.
Commission Chairman John Flower, who will be leaving the commission in mid-January after choosing not to seek a second term, asked whether the invitation from Lansing meant the county would have a chance to express some of its concerns on those issues. Hurley said he understood the county would have a chance to take the floor.
“We have some really important things that are of concern to us,” he said.