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http://cjonline.com/news/2013-11-29/former-lawmaker-brownback-appointee-square-tax-dispute

Former lawmaker, Brownback appointee square off in tax dispute

Changes to language on Olathe sales tax ballot issue may result in KOMA complaint

Posted: November 29, 2013 – 11:12am
andy.marso@cjonline.com

Former legislator Benjamin Hodge says he is contemplating a Kansas Open Meetings Act complaint against the Olathe City Council and Mayor Michael Copeland, who also works for the Department of Commerce and Department of Labor.

Hodge says the Olathe council changed the language of a recent sales tax ballot measure without properly informing the public.

“They only just oh-so-barely actually voted on the final language,” Hodge said. “They made those changes the night before.”

Hodge, whose Kansans for State & Local Reform PAC opposed the ballot measure, said council members added three words that broaden the possible uses for the new sales tax revenue during a work session that Hodge called “a quasi-legal public meeting nobody attended.”

Tim Dannenberg, a spokesman for Copeland, says the changes were minimal and everything was done on the up-and-up. He also released a statement from Copeland emphasizing that citizens will be able to track the new tax revenues and ensure that they are all going to their stated purpose of road improvements.

“I regret that anyone would believe the revenue generated by the street maintenance tax will go to anything other than street maintenance projects,” Copeland said. “That is absolutely not the case, and this has been made abundantly clear by the Olathe City Council. This process will be transparent. All sales tax revenue and projects where it is used will be easy for our residents to track, and an outside committee (is) being formed for additional review and reporting. We strongly encourage anyone interested in this issue to closely track where street maintenance tax revenue is being spent throughout the life of the tax.”

Gov. Sam Brownback last year appointed Copeland, who is a part-time mayor, to be deputy secretary of the Department of Labor after ousting secretary Karin Brownlee.

Cassie Sparks, a spokeswoman for the department, said via email that Copeland is now a full-time deputy secretary of work force services with the Department of Commerce but the labor department “is continuing to share some of Mr. Copeland’s services.”

Hodge is a conservative firebrand who served in the House in 2007 and 2008. He also spent four years as a trustee for Johnson County Community College from 2005 to 2009, during which time he asked the district attorney to investigate the board of trustees for possible KOMA violations when discussing budget issues behind closed doors.

Hodge’s latest KOMA beef involves the Olathe council changing one of the last lines of the road work ballot measure from “and such other work as necessary to maintain, repair and renew city streets” to “and such other work as necessary to maintain, repair, renew, upgrade and improve city streets.”

“The council just wanted it to be clearer, and it was a minor change,” Dannenberg said. “Certainly, in talking to legal, the interpretations had the same meaning.”

Dannenberg said some of the predictions that the money will be used for purposes other than road maintenance stem from fears of United Nations’ Agenda 21.

Ken Dunwoody, a blogger in Olathe, posted council member emails obtained through an open records request that he says showed the words “upgrade and improve” were added in order to appease the bicycling lobby by allowing tax revenue to be used to add bike paths to the road.

Dunwoody linked that effort to Agenda 21, a 20-year-old nonbinding sustainability resolution that, in some conservative circles, has sparked fears of private property usurpation.

“Agenda 21 (United Nations) is alive and well in your back yard,” Dunwoody posted online.

Hodge said his complaint has nothing to do with Agenda 21, but rather with the way the council changed the ballot language and its subsequent failure to inform the public of the change. He noted that the city’s website wasn’t updated with the new language until shortly before the election.

“In reality, almost nobody knew the correct language until they got a ballot in the mail,” Hodge said. “I honestly don’t think it was intentional immediately, but it’s hard to believe the city never knew the website was incorrect.”

Dannenberg said city officials “deeply regret the original language error.”

“Fortunately, only 88 unique viewers actually visited the page,” Dannenberg said via email. “There is not a way to tell if those viewers were Olathe voters, but I’m aware of at least one who is not. There were some 23,000 ballots cast, and the issue passed with 57 percent of the vote.”

Hodge said he doesn’t believe Dannenberg’s assertion that the city’s legal department deemed the ballot language changes insignificant. He said the passage of the ballot measure barely passes legal muster, given the changes, and the process in which the changes were made doesn’t follow the law.

“There still may be a KOMA case coming down the pike,” Hodge said.

Andy Marso can be reached at Capital: (785) 233-7470; Office: (785) 295-5619 orandy.marso@cjonline.com.
Follow Andy on Twitter @andymarso.

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Admittedly we are a few days early in providing this information, but with the next Olathe City Council Meeting scheduled in less than 24 hours to discuss their voter approved 30% tax increase, we feel compelled to share what we can prove as factual.

August 6, 2013 Olathe City Council publically discusses this proposed tax increase during a total of 5 min and 20 sec (we apologize for both the quality of video and audio, we work with and are thankful for what we can access): 

The Agenda  http://www.olatheks.org/Council/Agenda/2013-08-06  refers to item Sales+Tax+Election+for+Street+Preservation+CAI which states:

“Shall the City of Olathe, Kansas, pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 12-187, be authorized to levy a three-eighths of one percent (.375%) special purpose citywide retailers’ sales tax within the City of Olathe, Kansas; such additional tax, if approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon, to take effect on April 1, 2014, or as soon thereafter as permitted by law,  and to end ten years after its commencement on March 31, 2024; the revenue from the additional tax to be used for the sole purpose of financing in whole or in part with any other funds, the cost of repairing, rebuilding and rehabilitating streets in the City of Olathe (the “Street Preservation Program”); such program shall include the repair, reconstruction and rehabilitation of street pavement, curb and gutters, sidewalks and such other work as is necessary to maintain, repair and renew city streets; and be in addition to the one and one-eighth percent (1.125%) citywide retailers’ sales tax currently levied within the City?”

Do you see anything about adding bike paths?

After the lawful vote, this approved Ordinance went to the JoCo Election Office 13-32

“Shall the City of Olathe Kansas, pursuant to the provisions of K.S.A. 12-187, be authorized to levy a three-eighths of one percent (.375%) special purpose citywide retailers’ sales tax within the City of Olathe, Kansas; such additional tax, if approved by a majority of the electors voting thereon, to take effect on April I, 2014, or as soon thereafter as permitted by law, and to end ten years after its commencement on March 31, 2024; the revenue from the additional tax be used for the sole purpose of financing, in whole or in part with any other funds, the cost of repairing, rebuilding, rehabilitating, upgrading and improving streets in the City of Olathe (the “Street Maintenance Program”); such program shall include the repair, reconstruction and rehabilitation of street pavement, curb and gutters, sidewalks and such other work as is necessary to maintain, repair, renew, upgrade and improve city streets; and be in addition to the one and oneeighth percent (1.125.%) citywide retailers’ sales tax currently levied within the City?”

As previously posted https://nolathe.net/2013/11/09/truth-in-political-advertising-long-gone/ there are two different wordings.

Missing words

Furthermore the City of Olathe website discribed the ballot as-

Olathe Wording

While the Johnson County Election Office described it as

Ballot Wording

Again, the change of two words makes a major difference.

NOlathe (NO back into Olathe equals NOlathe) has placed several Kansas Open Record Act (KORA) requests to discover the following from the City of Olathe.  Resulting in many fact disclosures  Dunwoody

We now know that during an unrecorded meeting August 5 (day before the vote) changes in the wording was discussed.  We now know that pressure from Council members Vogt and Randall changed the language the day of August 6 to include “bike paths”.

Vogt nada

Vogt yes

Randall.1

Randall.2

We now know the actual Ordinance was not read in public view prior to the vote.  We believe the Council members did in fact vote on an Ordinance that was not made public prior to, during but only after their vote.  Fast foreward two months just prior to the Election.  The City of Olathe put bike paths paid through increased taxes on the ballot without telling the electorate.

City of Olathe encouraged the electorate to go here:

http://www.olatheks.org/News/2013/OctoberReleases

and here:

http://www.olatheks.org/StreetSalesTax

Why?:

One needs to look no further than:  http://marc.org/About-MARC/General-Information/Board-of-Directors.aspx

MARC Transportation  goals:  http://marc.org/Transportation/Special-Projects/Regional-Initiatives/Complete-Streets

Who?:

MARC Chair Marge Vogt:  Olathe City Council

MARC Second Vice Chair Ed Peterson:  JoCo Commissioner (running for JoCo Commision Chair 2014)

Some in the media say NOlathe wears a “tin hat”.   You look, you decide please.  Before it’s too late.

Agenda 21 (United Nations) is alive and well in your back yard.

This will be updated once The City of Olathe completes KORA requests yet unanswered and following The Councils Meeting scheduled Noverember 19, 2013 to discuss this topic.

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”
Ken Dunwoody                                                     GOD
Henpecked Acres                                 
One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com
http://NOlathe.net

.

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If this substantial sales tax increase is truly for the people, why lie?  “If you like your streets, you can keep your streets.  Period!

http://www.jocoelection.org/  Actual wording on ballot.

Ballot Wording

.

http://www.olatheks.org/PublicWorks/Streets/StreetPreservation/VoterInformation  What City of Olathe says on their web site.

.Olathe Wording

Missing words

.

This is more than an innocent mistake and more than maintaining existing streets.

This is about bike paths and sustainable streets.

“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”
Ken Dunwoody                                                             GOD
Henpecked Acres                                        
One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com
http://NOlathe.net

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THE PREDICTION

 

THE PREDICTED

Posted on Tue, Jul. 12, 2011 10:15 PM

Property tax hike advances in Overland Park

By BRAD COOPER

The Kansas City Star

Overland Park is positioned to approve a budget for 2012 that calls for a 4.1-mill property tax increase, the city’s first since 2004.

The City Council can still reduce the size of the tax increase between now and Aug. 15. But the council moved the budget forward on a unanimous vote Monday night without much discussion about the size of the tax increase.

A 4.1-mill tax increase would generate an extra $10 million a year for the city. It would cost the owner of a $200,000 home $94 more a year in property taxes. It was the higher of two tax options considered by the city. The other called for a 3.6 mill tax increase.

City administrators said the tax increase is needed to put more money into preserving aging city streets, hiring more police officers and replenishing the city’s rainy-day fund.

Without the tax increase, Overland Park would have to lay off 25 to 30 employees and slash spending on street maintenance to about $2 million a year from between $7 million and $8 million, City Manager Bill Ebel told the council.

Overland Park would also have to eliminate its neighborhood conservation program, which was created in 1991 to help sustain older neighborhoods without homes associations, Ebel said.

Even with the tax increase, the city is looking to close Roe Pool in 2012, charge admission to its arboretum and move to a less popular type of maintenance material called chip seal on streets that are more than 30 years old.

The city also plans to take $750,000 set aside for economic development incentives and put it back into the general fund. The account will be left with about $100,000.

Ebel recommended the tax increases to fix an imbalance between revenues and expenses that was brought about by the recession and refunds of state use taxes.

Overland Park has been spending down its reserves in recent years because it was hit with a series of use-tax refunds approved by the state.

Since the early part of the decade, the state has charged a use tax — essentially a sales tax — on out-of-area purchases and sent that money to cities.

However, in the last several years companies have reported they’ve been overcharged and have won refunds, which have hit the city’s reserves. Most of the overcharging comes when a company self reports its purchases and later revises the figures with the state, leading to the refunds, state officials said.

The state has granted $60 million in use tax refunds statewide from 2007 to 2010.

Overland Park will have spent its reserves down to $18 million or $19 million by the end this year. At the end of 2007, the city had an ending cash balance of about $63.9 million.


OVERLAND PARK

To reach Brad Cooper, call 816-234-7724 or send e-mail to bcooper@kcstar.com.

Posted on Tue, Jul. 12, 2011 10:15 PM

Read more: http://www.kansascity.com/2011/07/12/3009739/property-tax-hike-advances-in.html#ixzz1S2i1iTZ3 

 
 
“Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Anyone Who Threatens It”

Ken Dunwoody                                                          
GOD
Henpecked Acres                                                        
One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com www.NOlathe.com http://NOlathe.net http://NOjocoboco.net
View Sarah’s Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWuUvOZ7RY http://vimeo.com/23038312

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Several area School Districts recently raised mill levies for increased funding.  We chose to look at Olathe USD 233 as the School District is some what contained as the City of Olathe and we then measured changes from years 2000 to 2008.  Here is what we found.

Estimated Census population increased from 93,880 to 120,094 or 28.8%

Full Time Enrollment increased from 20,828 to 26,894 or 29.1%

Hispanic Population increased from 5,060 to 9,931 or 96.24%

‘Bilingual Education Funding’ increased from $531,770 to $2,696,500 or 407%

(NOTE: Census numbers are only as accurate as those that reported.)

That brought us to el ELL (The English Language Learners).  “In fact, one Kansas City school district has reported a 500 percent increase in its English learner population over the past three years. Area schools that have not historically served large numbers of English language learners are therefore facing the challenge of providing instruction for a more linguistically and culturally diverse student group.”   http://www.nwp.org/cs/public/print/resource/3112 

Kansas State Policy on the Education of ELL Students 

In response to both federal mandate and local demand, the Kansas State Legislature passed the Kansas Bilingual Education Act (KSA–72-9501 to 72-9510) in 1992. In the Act, the Legislature provided an addendum to the State education funding formula, which created the Bilingual Education Fund (now called ESOL/Bilingual).  Under the new funding formula, an additional 20% of the State’s annual per-pupil allocation would be provided to local school districts for each full-time-equivalent (FTE) student who was enrolled in a program of ESOL or Bilingual Education (KSDE, 1998).   The Act also charged KSDE with the responsibility of creating regulations for the administration of the act, including the development of policies and guidelines for the dispersion of these funds, which were to cover teacher education, training, and instructional improvement, as KSDE deemed best.  http://www.emporia.edu/emlj/modlan/esl/lawandpolicies.doc 

In 2002-2003, over 100 districts (more than one third of the 304 districts in Kansas), reported enrolling at least one ELL student. Furthermore, the increase in the number of native languages each subsequent year has also proven to be a trend. By the 2002-2003 school year there were over 100 native languages spoken by the ELL students in the state (KSDE, 2002).   http://www.emporia.edu/emlj/modlan/esl/lawandpolicies.doc

Question 49. What if the school district has just a few ELL students?
Answer: Even if only one ELL student is enrolled in the school district, the district must provide ESL services to the studenthttp://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=100 

NOlathe Observation:  To educate those here illegally we build more schools, hire more staff, hire more educators, educate the educators to be bilingual, fund more KPERS, provide two free meals daily and educate them in their native language from age 3 to 21.  We have read estimates that as many as 30% state wide students are Spanish speakers.

NOlathe Observation:  For the 2007-2008 school year, Olathe USD 233 reported 26,894 FTE (Full Time Equiv).  The Kansas Dept of Education funded between 24,070 and 24,751 (two documents showed two numbers) or 2,143 less than USD 233 reported.  At $12,192 per pupil results in a difference of $26,127,456.  Other years show similar differences.  We tried it in Spanish and got the same results.  Or is there another set of books and who audits?

Sources:  http://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/School%20Finance/data_warehouse/total_expenditures/d0233exp.pdf   

http://www.ksde.org/Portals/0/School%20Finance/budget/Budget_at_a_Glance/08-09_Summary/BAG233-2009.pdf 

http://www.ksde.org/Default.aspx?tabid=1813     http://www.olathe.k12.ks.us/

http://factfinder.census.gov/home/saff/main.html?_lang=en 

“Associate yourself with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation. It is better be alone than in bad company.”  George Washington

Ken Dunwoody                                     
GOD
Henpecked Acres 
                                  One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com    www.NOlathe.com     http://NOlathe.net
View Sarah’s Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWuUvOZ7RY

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http://lims.jocogov.org/sirepub/mtgviewer.aspx?meetid=730&doctype=AGENDA

Presentation made to Johnson County Board of Commissioners June 3, 2010.  Starts 9 min 30 sec in to recording.

More graphs- https://nolathe.net/2010/06/01/a-tale-of-two-cities/ 

“The rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.” James Madison

Ken Dunwoody                                                     GOD
Henpecked Acres 
                                  One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com    www.NOlathe.com     http://NOlathe.net
View Sarah’s Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWuUvOZ7RY

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“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”

In 2007 the City of Overland Park initiated unilateral (without owners’ consent) annexation of rural properties using KSA 12-521 http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-statutes/getStatute.do?number=3173.  In 2008 the City of Olathe initiated unilateral (without owners’ consent) annexation of rural properties using KSA 12-520 http://www.kslegislature.org/legsrv-statutes/getStatute.do?number=3169.  Both cities promised to provide “services equal to or better” than those provided by Johnson County.  Both cities promised to not raise taxes on either existing city residents or those being annexed.  In 2008 the City of Overland Park received approval from the Johnson County Board of County Commissioners.  In 2009 the City of Olathe decided not to pursue the annexation.  This is A Tale of Two Cities.  You decide.

This graph shows the change in Property Tax mill rate for both cities.  For 2009 and 2010 Overland Park has increased .33% per year.  Olathe has decreased .15% per year. A difference of .48%.  From 2007 to 2010 Overland Park has increased 2.07% and Olathe has decreased .75%.  A difference of 2.82%.

Although the Overland Park annexation increased The City by 20% the following shows what happened to “services equal to or better” since the annexation:

The 2009 Budget:  ♦ Seven full-time positions were identified for elimination during budget development: one in the City Clerk’s Office, two in the Police Department, one in the Fire Department, and three in Planning and Development Services. ♦ The 2009 Budget includes the addition of eight full-time employees: three Public Works maintenance workers to serve the annexed area, three employees in the Parks and Recreation Department to staff enhancements at the Deanna Rose Farmstead, one Stormwater Best Management Practices Engineer, and a Facility Supervisor at the Overland Park Soccer Complex.

 The 2010 Budget includes 901 full-time employees, a decrease of nine full-time employees from the adopted 2009 Budget. This reduction includes: Accountant Finance Department, Employment Specialist Human Resources Department, Police Officer Police Department, 3 Farmstead Attendants Parks and Recreation Department, GIS Analyst Planning and Development Services, Systems Building Inspector Planning and Development Services, Civil Engineer Planning and Development Services.

Both cities contemplated annexing an existing population that already spent sales tax dollars in each respective city.  Let’s look at both cities’ General Fund during this time period. 

 OP Gen Fund Detail       Olathe Gen Fund Detail   Since 2008 Overland Park’s Beginning Balance has fallen $23,971,329 while Olathe’s has risen $527,065.  As usual the answer to this dilemna is in the details.

Commingling “old funds” and “new funds” and calling it all Revenue for determining ratios is not appropriate or common especially if this accounts for 28% of the total.  Is Sales Tax really 43% and is Property Tax really 7% of Revenue?

Or is Sales Tax really 62% and is Property Tax really 9%.

Same information provided from Olathe

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way.”

Olathe calls this economy “Bridging the Gap”.  It would only be appropriate if Overland Park called it “Bridging the Ooopps”.

“The rights of persons, and the rights of property, are the objects, for the protection of which Government was instituted.” James Madison

Ken Dunwoody                                         GOD
Henpecked Acres 
                                  One Nation
14850 W. 159th St.
Olathe, Ks. 66062
(913)768-1603
kdunwoody2@aol.com    www.NOlathe.com     http://NOlathe.net
View Sarah’s Story http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GUWuUvOZ7RY

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