To the editor:
My apologies for my error in my Jan. 11 letter. It should have read “On a $200,000 appraised (not assessed) value home …”
In addition to those taxes listed for Leavenworth, there is a 5 percent fee paid by utility companies operating in the city. Then we pay the franchise fee on gas, electric and telephone bills. So if the electric bill was $173, it would include $8 for franchise and $5 for sales tax. This does not include cell phone and internet taxes.
Remember that city voters approved a sales tax raise with no ending date, Ordinance No. 7933, effective July 1, 2014, as a general fund tax revenue source that is not allocated by percentage.
Soon we will have a substantial tax added to pay for needed stormwater drainage system repairs. City Manager Paul Kramer says that $85 million will not totally pay for the repairs, but it’s a start. He said, “Any city funds, outside of refuse and wastewater, could be used for those repairs. It’s just a matter of what you would then need to cut.”
Stormwater repairs absorb 15 percent of the city’s part of the countywide sales tax, which also supports debt reduction, sidewalks and economic development.
The Leavenworth Times’ initial report estimated that $36 added to our property tax bill would pay for the work. But by Dec. 6, commissioners had discussed one fee for a single-family residential unit to range from $75 to $270 per year. Last week, Kramer said, “The former City Commission determined to include a stormwater fee on the property tax statement. However, the level has not been set at this time.”
When asked about the years of neglect, Kramer said, “The city has not had a stormwater fee to this point. Therefore, there has not been adequate funding to properly maintain the system.” He said the Eisenhower VA Medical Center and Fort Leavenworth being charged the fee has not been determined yet.
Thus far, we have covered the taxes and mill levies for the state, county and city of Leavenworth. Those three entities combined get 70.211 mills from our personal and property taxes. The single entity that receives the remaining 63.335 mills will start in the next letter.