Budgets, taxes, and growth were some of the major topics of discussion during Saturday morning’s “Coffee and Conversation” event, put together by the League of Women Voters of Manhattan and Riley County.
The discussion, held at the International Grain Institute, featured comments by Manhattan City Commissioners, Riley County Commissioners, and Manhattan Ogden USD 383 School Board members.
Each leader in attendance spoke about the issues their respective group are currently facing. Most of the leaders addressed budgetary problems and income taxes. Manhattan Mayor, Wynn Butler and City Commissioner, Rich Jankovich mentioned the internet sales tax that they believe needs to be put into place by the state.
Riley County Commissioner, Ron Wells and Manhattan Ogden USD 383 School Board Member, Pat Hudgins mentioned they need to continue planning for years down the road, especially from a budgetary standpoint.
Senator, Tom Hawk sat in the audience, but spoke briefly about the “trickle down” tax policy that he said “just isn’t working”. He asked the leaders how they would recommend fixing this issue.
Mayor Butler mentioned freezing and turning back policy that cuts income taxes. He mentioned income tax revenue is a large amount of money local agencies never get to see, because it gets sent to the state and federal levels. Leaders also discussed tax exemptions, as there seem to be more and more of them all the time.
All of the local leaders seemed to agree that more discussions need to happen with community members, in order to ensure better communication with local residents.