Local/Kansas The Salina Journal Wednesday, April 10,1985 Page 3 Proposed classification bill would shift tax burden TOPEKA (AP) - Utilities, railroads and oil and natural gas producers would get major reductions while homeowners, fanners and businesses would see increases in their assessed valuations under the proposed classification constitutional amendment to be debated later this week in the Senate. A computer printout shows what valuation shifts would occur if the proposed amendment is submitted to voters next year and approved. It was based on changes in the proposed amendment made by the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee Tuesday when it endorsed the House-passed resolution. The resolution must gain two- thirds approval in the Senate to go to conference committee where the two legislative chambers will try to Judge relaxes camera ban in courthouse Cameras will be allowed near the Saline and Ottawa county courtrooms because of an agreement reached by the judges and news media. Adminstrative Judge David Knudson said Tuesday that Harris Rayl, editor of The Salina Journal, made a request for a compromise on a January rule banning cameras on the third floor of the Saline County Courthouse and the second floor of the Ottawa County Courthouse. ; Knudson based the ban on Supreme Court rules. The latest agreement states that cameras will be allowed with the following restrictions: • Pictures taken through windows or open doors of the courtrooms are prohibited. • Photographers cannot use the hallway area immediately adjacent to the courtroom entrances. • Defendants cannot be photographed in hand or body restraints as they are being escorted to and from court. • A trial judge can ban cameras from the entire floor when a proceeding is conducted. Knudson said district judges are pleased that an agreement was reached "that seemed to please everyone." Rayl said, "We are happy with the compromise and the judge's flexibility." , Channel 6 News Director Chris Mulvenon said, "We are obviously pleased with the compromise. It gets us back to an even keel with the folks up there." Mulvenon said he thought the court ruling had produced strained relationships between the media and the court. "This will smooth over some of those feelings," he said. Co-op tries to sign up beet farmers GOODLAND - (AP) - A new sugar beet cooperative that has purchased Great Western Sugar Co.'s beet factory at Goodland and five Others in Colorado is trying to sign up farmers to grow 100,000 acres of sugar beets in the two states this year. "We could probably get by with 85,000 acres," said Max Harper of Yuma, Colo., board chairman of Mountain States Beet Growers Cooperative. "But it makes it a more feasible operation if we can get (100,000) acres." The co-op launched the sign-up drive Monday and plans to seek acreage pledges from farmers all week. Last week, the beet growers reached agreement with Great Western to buy the six plants in the two states for $13 million, plus $54 million for stocks of refined sugar. : Tate & Lyle Inc., a Yonkers, N.Y., company, on Monday completed purchase of Great Western's six other sugar beet factories in Montana, Nebraska and Wyoming for $21.5 million, plus $38.3 million for sugar stocks. 1 Although the Kansas and Colorado growers last year produced pnly 63,681 acres of beets for Great Western, co-op officials think a goal of 100,000 acres is realistic. Art Meisner, executive manager of. the Mountain States Beet Growers Marketing Association of Colorado and Kansas, said farmers in the two states consistently have gronta 100,000 acres of beets. work out a compromise. The. proposal would create two major classes of property. One would encompass business machinery and equipment, residential land and vacant lots to be assessed at 12 percent of its fair-market value. The other class is composed of commercial and industrial property, utilities and oil and gas property, as well as motor vehicles, which would be assessed at 30 percent. The proposed amendment would exempt all personal property, including merchants' and manufacturers' inventories and livestock, from taxation. • The share of the total property valuation burden in Kansas that residential property bears would go up from 23.1 percent to 26.2 percent, Legislature at a glance Unclaimed property bill dies A bill amending the state Unclaimed Property Act of 1979 died in the Senate. Senate leaders said a new bill would be introduced to reduce the 200,000 names on the list the state maintains by removing them if the money isn't claimed within a certain period of time. Liquor agreement close A liquor conference committee got close to agreement on a package but the deal fell apart. It would have included a "clean" liquor-by-the-drink proposed constitutional amendment devoid of a requirement that bars also serve food. Building sale bill fails A plan by Rep. Bill Bunten, R-Topeka, for getting the state out of a deal to buy the old Santa Fe office building in downtown Topeka and use the money to pay the state's settlement of a lawsuit with Kansas nursing homes was killed by the House, 51-57. using 1984 statewide assessed valuation. The percentage of the burden borne by agricultural land would go up from 16.3 percent to 18.3 percent. The percentage of the burden shouldered by commerce and industry would rise from 21.8 percent to 26.2 percent. In contrast, the amount of the uti- lities' valuation would drop from 18.3 percent to 13.7 percent, railroads would drop from 1.8 percent to 0.8 percent and oil and gas production would deline from 16.1 percent to 12.1 percent. The share of vehicles also decreases slightly from 0.6 percent to 0.5 percent and miscellaneous property accounts for the rest of the percentage. In Saline County, 'the share of the total property valuation burden that homeowners bear would increase from 27 percent to 28 percent. The share for businesses would increase from 12.9 percent to 27.9 percent. The percentage of the tax burden borne by agriculture would increase from 10.6 percent to 10.9 percent. The amount paid by utilities would drop from 13.4 percent to 8.3 percent. The amount of'valuation does not translate directly into amount of property taxes paid because the tax levy for different types of property is not the same. For example, a home in Topeka will have a levy for city taxes, county taxes, public school taxes, Washburn University taxes and special levies. A piece of farmland in Shawnee County might have only school and county taxes levied upon it. Opponents contend the plan gives too much of a break to utilities, railroads and oil and gas producers at the expense of small businesses and homeowners in most counties. Tom DorMy OVER THE EDGE — Michael Googe, Salina, gets at the tough spots as he prepares his parents' house for painting Tuesday afternoon. Cawker City exercises new ideas in hopes of attracting businesses By LINDA MOWERY-DENNING Great Plains Editor CAWKER CITY - Bryan Frasier ordered his new racing bicycle from Ohio. Accessories came from a store in Wichita. Barbara Belcher and other members of the Cawker City Economic Development Committee hope that before long such items will be available locally. To that end, the committee will stage the first Cawker City-Lake Waconda Recreational Fair and Waconda Challenge Mini-Triathlon on Memorial Day Weekend, May 2527. In addition to providing fun, the weekend event is aimed at luring new business into this town of 800. Organizers think much of that new business should revolve around recreation because of the community's location on the northwest corner of Waconda Lake. "We want jobs up here," Belcher said. "We want to be able to provide jobs so people don't have to leave. "Cawker City realizes it's sitting on a sleeping giant and that is tourism. Mitchell County is ranked 90th out of 105 Kansas counties in tourism. That's deplorable when you consider we're sitting on one of the most beautiful lakes in Kansas." • Fair organizers have space in Lakeside Park for more than 100 exhibitors, but for this year at least they want to keep the number to about 30. Belcher Frasier "We're thinking small this year," Belcher said. "We want quality so people will think about coming back the second year." Space can be reserved by calling Leland Mick, 7814367, or Tom Koster, 781-4317. More information is available from Barnett Manufacturing Co., U.S. 24 West, Cawker City, 67430. More than 100 people, including some from as far away as Seattle, already have registered for the triathlon. Organizers hope to have 200 individual competitors and 40 teams of three people each. Events are a three-tenths mile swim in Waconda Lake, a 19-mile bicycle ride and a 6Vfe-mile run. The Cawker City triathlon will be the first for Frasier, who plans to compete as an individual. He is preparing for the event by lifting weights, jogging and riding his new racing bicycle whenever he can. He will start swimming in May. By Memorial Day, he expects the temperature in the lake to be in the 60s. '^With the water temperature so cold, a guy has to do a lot of weight training so he doesn't cramp up," Frasier said. ' Frasier said the triathlon should take less than three hours. "I hope to work past just finishing, but I'm not looking forward to winning," he said. Men and women from 15 to 60 years of age are eligible. Another participant will be Don Ardell, author of "High Level Wellness: An Alternative to Drugs and Disease." The former San Francisco health planner will also give two talks — one on May 24 and the other on May 25. Belcher said Ardell will use the Cawker City competition to warm up for a triathlon in France. "We have a pretty easy course compared to some of the triathlons," she said. The May activities are part of the development committee's efforts to guarantee Cawker City's economic and social survival. Members hope the triathlon also will promote good health. For the Recreational Fair and triathlon, the town is being helped by Bud Light and Pestinger Distributing Co., Beloit. "The Memorial Day population (at Waconda Lake) has always exceeded 20,000," Belcher said. "We want them down at our end of the lake, too. "This is going to be a lot of fun and we want to be a success this year so we can do it again next year." Loss of federal revenue sharing won't have big effect on county By MARTIN MELENDY Staff Writer A potential loss of at least $200,000 in federal money in 1986 has not alarmed Saline County commissioners, although the loss would further tighten the budget noose. Although reliance on the fund was not great, it could be difficult this year to find county money for expenditures previously covered by revenue sharing. "It could be a difficult year because the total valuation may be down and there could be less sales tax," Commissioner Roy Allen said. "It could be a difficult budget year and we'll have to keep increases to a bare minimum." President Reagan's proposed 1986 federal budget calls for elimination of the revenue sharing program, as does a potential budget compromise worked out last week by Reagan and Senate Republican leaders. The revenue sharing program be- gan in the early 1970s under President Richard Nixon. Elimination would curtail the program a year before its current authorization ends. The program annually provides about $4.6 billion to about 40,000 local governments. The county, which uses most of its revenue sharing money for equipment purchases or construction projects, received $275,220 this year. "We'll just have to do more with less," commission Chairman Dennis Carlson said. "We'll just have to prioritize more." Commissioners point out that in a budget of about $8 million, the revenue sharing amount is small. The key impact will be that the county will not be able to upgrade equipment as quickly, Allen said. Revenue sharing expenditures this year include $38,000 for an ambulance and life support unit, $78,000 for sheriff's department vehicles and $12,128 to county planning and zoning for a data processor. Allen said about half of this year's allowance will fund -equipment purchases. He said that without the money, the county probably could cover similar costs next year by shifting funds in the county budget. "It's safe to say that we always considered it an advantage to have but that it could be gone at any time," Allen said. Allen said he does not think the revenue sharing money prevented tax increases to pay for equipment. The county receives revenue sharing money through a formula based on population and taxes. The county received $304,122 in revenue sharing in 1980, $312,919 in , 1981, $288,692 in 1982, $289,766 in 1983 $254,302 in 1984. KW summer registration starts Registration for summer classes at Kansas Wesleyan has begun. The summer session will feature 27 courses covering a broad range of academic fields. The program is divided into two four-week sessions of daytime and evening classes. The first session begins June 3 and ends June 28. The second session begins July 1 and ends July 26. Theft, burglary charges expected Four juveniles will be charged today in juvenile court with grand theft and multiple counts of burglary, Salina Assistant Police Chief Glen Kochanowski said Tuesday. They allegedly were involved in an April 4 burglary at Klepper Oil Co., 1700 S. Ninth. Beer, cigarettes and other items valued at $538 were taken, Kochanowski said. The juveniles also allegedly were involved in nine vehicle burglaries over a two-month period. Most of the stolen items, including CB radios, stereos and radar detectors, were recovered, Kochanowski said. Tabor plans youth conference HILLSBOR0 — About 150 high school students are expected to attend the 1985 Tabor College Youth Conference Friday through Sunday. The conference is a weekend retreat with a spiritual emphasis for high school and college students. High school juniors and seniors are invited to visit the campus on Friday. The conference is open to all high school and college students. Registration is $27, which includes all meals, lodging and admission to activities. Kassebaum to make area stops Sen. Nancy Kassebaum, R-Kan., is scheduled to meet constituents during a state tour while on a congressional recess. Kassebaum will stop Thursday at 9 a.m. at a town and farm meeting at the Information Center of the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene and at 11 a.m. for Career Day at Clay Center High School, Clay Center. On Saturday, she will stop at 11 a.m. at a Senior Citizens Center dedication in Downs and at 2 p.m. for a dedication ceremony at the Stockton Public Library. Nursing class set for Thursday LINDSBORG — A nursing education course, "Decision-Making Skills," will be taught from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. Thursday in the Farmers State Bank community room in Lindsborg. The course is accredited by the Kansas State Board of Nursing. The fee is $7.50. Request to abandon road OK'd A request that the county abandon ownership of Knoll Lane, an un- maintained road about three-fourths mile west of the Burma and Water Well roads intersection, was approved Tuesday by the Saline County Commission. The request for abandonment of the 900-foot road came from nearby property owners. The road in the Knollcrest Estates subdivision will become a private right-of-way. The change allows adjacent property owners to build within 25 feet of it instead of the 100 feet required when it was a county road. There were no other items on the commission agenda. Eisenhower Center open house set ABILENE — The annual open house at the Eisenhower Center is scheduled from 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. The Abilene City Band will give a concert at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the library building. Exhibits on the various functions of the center will be set up in the recently completed interior courtyard of the library, where refreshments will be served. No admission is charged at the museum during open house.
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