Our Western Heritage

Our Western Heritage
Front Street, Dodge City, circa 1879

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Ford County to raise property taxes if sales tax voted out ?

From The Hutchinson News


Dodge sales tax fight plays out in court, By Jon Ruhlen

The latest chapter in the saga of the "Why Not Dodge?" half-cent sales tax and the beleaguered attempts to build a special events center played out in Ford County District Court on Wednesday.

Jack Dalton, a retired attorney, recently filed a motion requesting that Senior Judge Ronald Innes prohibit Ford County from holding an election that could result in the repeal the county's share of the sales tax, which is supposed to fund the event center.

Innes, who ordered local governments to make construction of the events center a priority a year ago, will now decide the election issue.

Opponents of the events center gathered enough signatures on a petition earlier in the year to prompt the Ford County Commission to schedule a special election for Tuesday.

In light of the pending motion, the commission has postponed the election until the judge issues a ruling.

Dalton and Dodge City legal counsel Ken Strobel argued that a repeal of the Ford County share of the sales tax would violate the contract clause in the U.S. Constitution, which protects individuals' rights to enter into agreements.

In his motion, Dalton argued that allowing the vote would create chaos and confusion for local governments.

"An instrument of democracy (the right to vote) should not be used as a tool for anarchy," Dalton wrote.

Ford County legal counsel Glen Kerbs argued that the repeal itself would not constitute a violation of the contract clause because the county could cover its share pledged for the project through other sources of funding, such as property taxes. [NOTE: this quote, directly from the Hutch News, has been questioned -- see comments attached to this post for that information]

6 comments:

Joe said...

You are appearently out of the loop.

Strobel said it's extremely unlikely under normal circumstances that sales tax collections would fail to meet projections. But if they did, the city and county would not be legally obligated to cover the shortfall by raising property taxes because the only collateral for sales tax bonds is sales tax revenue.

He said the city and county could take another approach to dealing with the shortfall, such as extending the repayment period or using bond reserve accounts.

"But the bottom line is, they don't go on property taxes," he said.

This was published in the Globe on March 29th, 2005.


I agree with Ken Stroble. A loss of sales tax from Ford County does not mean a property tax increase to make up the shortfall.

We can repeal the County's sales tax for WND projects without fear of property tax increases.

Joe said...

WND,

You should quite using this scare tactic on the good people of Ford County!

Joe said...

Ford County legal counsel Glen Kerbs argued that the repeal itself would not constitute a violation of the contract clause because the county could cover its share pledged for the project through other sources of funding, such as property taxes.


Mr. Kerbs did not make that comment. I was in the Court room and you are telling lies. You have lost all credibility!!

Why Not Dodge! said...

Sorry, Joe, but I was not at the courtroom meeting and if the Hutch News quote is wrong, I certainly am sorry for that -- darn papers.

I'll let your comments correct that error -- and hope that the Hutch News does a correction also.

Anyone else at that court room meeting hear anything different ?

Why Not Dodge! said...

"joe" maintains that we are in error even though our report of the situation comes directly from a well known and reasonably trustworthy news source, the Hutchinson News.

If this is true ("joe" offers no other "proof" that it is other than "his" word - and we don't know who "joe" is...) then we would gladly publish a retraction on this blog.

FWIW, "joe", we are not using any "scare" tactics here - just trying to keep people informed as to the possibilities and probabilities of things that are going to strongly impact life in our community.

We are sick and tired of all the smoke filled back room power brokers in this community who think they alone know what is best for us. Let the people have the truth and the chips will fall where they may.

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