WELLINGTON, Kan. (KSNW) – When there is talk of raising taxes, protests will sometimes follow.
“Our tax protest notice is encouraging our citizens to show up on Tuesday morning to ask county commissioners why they want to raise our taxes,” said Sumner County resident Terry Nunemaker. “That’s just absolutely an extreme position to take.”
Nunemaker wants to protest at the county commissioner hearing on Tuesday at the County Courthouse. He says that commissioners filed for a 16.5% tax hike on property taxes.
KSN reached out to county commissioners but did not immediately hear back on this topic.
The Sumner County Clerk on Friday told KSN that CountyCommissioners were trying to cut that proposed increase to less than 8% before a proposed vote on Tuesday.
Still, even an 8% increase is considered too much for one year by some in the county.
“We’re just hearing about it, and it is a little bit concerning because I’d like to see our community grow,” said Connie Hart at the Beehive Quilt Shop and Bee Creative Toys in Wellington. “But I do think taxes have to be reasonable based on where you’re living, and sometimes the current price of property tax levels have scared some people from moving down here.”
Rick Roitman is a city council member in Wellington and says proposed tax increases are always the talk of the town, at least in Wellington.
“It always is a hot topic. It has been every year I’ve been on the council,” said Roitman. “People don’t like their taxes being raised.”
Roitman says the City, like the County, has to consider raising taxes or losing some services.
“It doesn’t surprise me there is a protest. You know, most of the time in today’s day and age, we get protests on social media,” said Roitman. “It’s hard to get people to be engaged. It’s not hard to get people to complain.”
Roitman says the County and the City of Wellington both have to look at how to keep services going and funded on a level that meets the needs of residents.
“Is there a point where it’s too much? Yeah, there probably is,” said Roitman. “My response to the people that I talk to in the community when they ask me about taxes is, ‘OK. I can’t argue with you that maybe they’re too high and that maybe we shouldn’t increase taxes. Tell me what city services you can live without, and then I’ll tell you how we can cut taxes.'”
Meanwhile, Nunemaker says he hopes to get a lot of people to the county commission hearing Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. at the County Courthouse in Wellington.
“Our local elected officials seem intent on increasing our taxes more and more and more,” said Nunemaker.