NTF issue paper: papiomrnrd24.doc. 2-10.
NEBRASKA TAXPAYERS FOR FREEDOM TESTIMONY BEFORE PAPIO-MISSOURI RIVER NATURAL RESOURCES BOARD: FEB. 11, 2010.
Good evening. My name is Doug Kagan, and I represent NE Taxpayers for Freedom. I am speaking again this evening to urge the board to NOT move ahead with authorizing the issuance of the storm water management bonds. We realize that the NRD has worked diligently to produce a number of possible options to cope with current and future storm water management. Some of these proposed options, such as wetland development, we support. Another, dam construction, we do not support. Your proposal to issue up to $13.3 million in bonds does not include a specific, concrete plan of action that you intend to pursue up and down the NRD flood plain or individual costs for each project. We do not see a definitive time line. Therefore, you are asking taxpayers to write you a large check, through a special property tax levy, that leaves blank the “Pay to the Order of” line. I never write a check that leaves this space blank, and no one else I know writes checks like that. You are asking NRD taxpayers to write a check that leaves you free to use this money as you wish, without first telling taxpayers the precise purpose of the check.
Furthermore, we advise this board to vote not on the entire watershed project but only one part at a time, as the entire watershed project will not be worked on simultaneously. In this way, taxpayers who live along particular sections of the affected watershed area will have more time to formulate their input.
We also would oppose using bond monies for additional studies and reports advocating a need for dams, because such use would only further contradict the feelings of a majority of taxpayers.
A February 3 memorandum from Gen. Manager Winkler states that Douglas and Washington Counties are not obligated to approve or disapprove any projects for this bond issue, as these projects do not reside in either of the county’s exclusive zoning jurisdiction. This statement apparently contradicts text in LB 160, passed by the Legislature in 2009.
We propose that you finalize a specific proposal for storm water management along the entire flood plain and widely open the discussion of this proposal to public input, as the City of Omaha has accomplished with its sewer separation community meetings. As you know, several of your present proposals have met with stiff opposition from taxpayer and other groups and individuals. Let us have a healthy public debate. Allow taxpaying citizens more opportunity to lobby you to alter your proposal. Then, perhaps you will reconsider issuing these bonds or the amount thereof.
Doug Kagan, chairman NE Taxpayers for Freedom
TAX FACTS ABOUT THE BOND ISSUE:
Voting YES, to issue $13.3 million in bonds for dams that will increase property taxes for property owners:
Larry Bradley, Fred Conley, John Conley, Tim Fowler, David Klug, Rick Kolowski, John Schwope, Rich Tesar, and Jim Thompson.
Voting NO, in favor of property taxpayers:
Dorothy Lanphier and Scott Japp.
Board members Fred Conley, John Conley, Jim Thompson, Tim Fowler, and David Klug are all up for re-election in 2010. Find candidates to replace them! Be sure to vote for their opponents!
Research, documentation, and analysis for this issue paper done by Nebraska Taxpayers for Freedom, with express prior permission granted for its use by Citizens for Local Control, Cherry County Taxpayers, Dawes County Taxpayers, and other groups in the Tax Freedom Network. 2-10. C