Billable Hours vs. Public Service, Part III

By Charlotte O’Hara – Shared with permission as printed in the Johnson County Gazette

Well, billable hours vs. public service is still in the BOCC news.

On December 7th Chairman Kelly stated that we should emulate K.C., Mo. and increase the threshold of contracts reviewed by your elected county commissioners from $100,000 to $150,000.

Wow, looking to K.C., Mo. as an exemplary governmental entity to follow???

I know that our chairman is a great friend of K.C. mayor, Quinton Lucas.  But in 2021 KC, Mo. was on the FBI top 10 cities list for most violent crimes.  And this year their property tax bills exploded, going up 30% on average!!!  And THAT is to what JoCo should aspire?

Naturally, the other rationale was efficiency, as the chairman continues to push to lower the time required for BOCC meetings.  His need, apparently, is time for more billable hours as a partner in his big fancy law firm. The contract threshold increase passed, 5-2.

Now, on to the subject of the fancy footwork by big business so they can pay a fraction of their property taxes through tax incentives or corporate welfare.

Just imagine if you could get the city you live in to give you preferential treatment on your property tax bill! If that was possible YOUR tax bill could be REDUCED by 90% while your neighbors would have to pay their full tax bill.

That is the sweet deal that huge warehouse projects (example 337,000 sq ft and larger) in New Century Airport receive. The valuation on one warehouse was set at $67 a sq. ft. when the national average cost is $150-200 per sq ft. Therefore, unlike your home, which is valued at actual cost and which escalates every year, these warehouse values are dramatically under actual cost and capped at a 1.5% annual increase.

Currently, the total tax dollars annually diverted from public coffers to the pockets of big developers is $95 million. This amount is increasing at an alarming rate each year. All diverted tax dollars increase YOUR property taxes.

Sweet deals for the big boys while the rest of us cringe before opening our property tax bills.

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *