McPhersons own mayor, Tom Brown headed to Topeka to give testimony to try and ease restrictions on a policy that creates a property tax lid.
The policy links property taxes to the local CPI (Consumer Price Index) over a five-year average. The city would need voter approval to increase the lid.
“For McPherson, health insurance premiums, pensions, workers compensation rates have far exceeded the five-year average of the current CPI” Said Mayor Brown in his testimony.
The mayor was in attendance with a group of other city managers and representatives from the League of Municipalities to support HB 2424 which would exempt from the tax lid policy, employee benefit plans including health and pension contributions. Proponents like Finney County Commissioner Larry jones say, doing so would allow large companies the power to offer more competitive benefit plans in place of higher wages.
Raising the lid would mean more money for cities to continue economic development. HB2424 would at least ease the burden on companies trying to move into an area if the tax lid cannot be repealed to give cities the power to collect more revenue.
Opponents of the bill are asking why the concerns weren’t brought up in the 2015 session when the tax lid was revisited.
Jack Thimesch, R-Spivey asked, ”Who is going to help the citizens of cities and counties pay for their rising employee benefits?”
HB2424 was introduced to the Taxation Committee on May 2. Chairperson of the Taxation Committee is local representative Steven Johnson.