Mission City Council candidate in Ward 2 weighs in on property taxes before election

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MISSION, Kan. — With the general election less than a month away, FOX4 is working to help voters get a better idea where candidates stand on issues impacting residents in the metro.

FOX4 sent out a questionnaire to candidates in more than 50 races in Johnson County. 

On November 2, Joe Donaway, Keith Viken and Lea Loudon will compete for voter support to represent the 2nd Ward on the Mission City Council. 

FOX4 did not receive a response from Donaway or Loudon. Here’s a look at what Viken had to say: 

Q: What is your top policy issue for the City of Mission? 

Viken: Trying to reduce the amount of taxes for Mission. We have some of the highest in Johnson County.

Q: What changes, if any, would you like to see in the city budget? 

Viken: To make sure they are used in the best way possible. One example that comes to mind, is the city spent money to redesign the logo for the city. They updated all signage with it, all while the pandemic was going on. Not sure it needed to be done with so many people hurting.

Q; What is your view on the use of tax incentives for new development? What criteria would you use when determining if incentives like Tax Increment Financing (TIFs), tax abatements or the creation of a Community Improvement District (CID) should be granted to developers wanting to build within the city? 

Viken: Am not a fan of it. There are times when it is really needed, but in areas where it truly is needed. Not sure Johnson County really has any areas like that. If it is a good to great development, it should be able to stand on its own without help. Investors always want to use other people’s money for investments. Not sure the government is a great place for that. 

If it is used, I think the general public should know about it. There should be a sign on the front entrance where sales taxes are collected to let the public know. It can’t be a small sign, but one that you can’t overlook.

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