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The Leavenworth Times - Leavenworth, KS
  • Commissioners discuss scheduling of election

  • Leavenworth County commissioners are considering whether to have a special election for the renewal of a countywide sales tax before the city of Leavenworth has an election for a new sales tax.
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    • In other business
      When they met Monday, Leavenworth County commissioners took the following action:

      They denied a request for a second residential driveway entrance for a one-acre property at ...
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      In other business
      When they met Monday, Leavenworth County commissioners took the following action:
      They denied a request for a second residential driveway entrance for a one-acre property at 17659 168th St.
      They met behind closed doors in executive session for one hour to discuss personnel.
  • Leavenworth County commissioners are considering whether to have a special election for the renewal of a countywide sales tax before the city of Leavenworth has an election for a new sales tax.
    That idea was suggested when Leavenworth County commissioners met Monday morning.
    County officials plan to ask voters to renew a 1-cent countywide sales tax that is set to expire at the end of 2016. Revenue from the tax is split between the county government and cities in the county.
    City of Leavenworth officials are looking at asking voters in the city to approve a new 1-cent tax that would be used to reduce property taxes.
    County commissioners are scheduled to have a joint meeting tonight with the City Commission. And county commissioners decided Monday to schedule a special meeting of their own an hour before the start of the joint meeting.
    The special meeting will begin at 6 p.m. today at the Leavenworth County Courthouse. The joint meeting will start at 7 p.m. at Leavenworth City Hall.
    County commissioners and County Administrator Pat Hurley have expressed concern about how voters in Leavenworth would react to being asked to renew the countywide sales tax after they already have voted on the proposed sales tax for the city.
    Hurley has suggested voters in the city could view both ballot questions as tax increases even though one would be a renewal of an existing sales tax. Hurley said voters in Leavenworth make up about a third of the county's electorate.
    "I've continued to study all the material on this issue," he said.
    Hurley said he's visited with city officials from Lansing, Basehor and Tonganoxie.
    "They've showed the same concern," he said.
    Last week, Leavenworth city commissioners discussed scheduling the election for the city's sales tax proposal sometime in February and using mail-in ballots. The matter still has to come back to the commissioners for a final vote.
    County commissioners previously discussed the idea of asking voters to approve both sales tax measures during the same election. Hurley has argued this would cause city officials to support both ballot measures.
    But Hurley said Monday that the commissioners could decide to put the countywide sales tax issue before voters a week ahead of the election for the city sales tax.
    County Clerk Janet Klasinski said the county and city can't have mail-in ballot elections on the same day.
    Hurley said the county counselor and a deputy secretary of state for Kansas are of the opinion that if elections for the two ballot questions are scheduled for the same day neither could involve mail-in ballots.
    County Commissioner Dennis Bixby suggested a resolution could be drafted for commissioners to adopt during today's special meeting at the Courthouse.
    Page 2 of 2 - Hurley said he might prepare two resolutions. One would call for a special election for Feb. 4, which is a date that was suggested to the City Commission for the city election. The other resolution would call for a special election a week earlier on Jan. 28.
    "Then you can discuss that and decide," he said.
    County commissioners voted unanimously to schedule the special meeting for 6 p.m. today.
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