Does bus shortfall justify sales tax?
A quarter-cent increase in sales tax was proposed in response to a $500,000 shortfall in the city bus system (May 19 Eagle). This small increase in the rate could generate an estimated $14 million per year. What a surprise that the transit advisory board voted OK on that. Wow, that was one tough vote.
Is the $500,000 deficit a one-time event or expected every year? We just learned that the shortfall this year was partly due to overtime (May 20 Eagle). Who will govern the uses of the extra $13.5 million each year? I want to be on that board. Any built-in restrictions or public approval on the use of the excess funds?
Please make sense of this for those of us who are not in the local government.
MARC L. KAPLAN
I recently received another mailing from Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita. It was titled, “The Facts About the House of Representatives Budget Plan. An Important Message From Rep. Mike Pompeo.” Not only was it the same old Republican and tea party rhetoric, it was printed on oversize, heavy-duty, fancy card stock.
In the first paragraph, Pompeo stated that the House was advancing bold ideas to restore fiscal sanity to the federal government and that “we have a moral obligation to cut spending and put the federal government on a path to a balanced budget.” However, on the back in very small print was this statement: “This mailing was prepared, published and mailed at taxpayer expense.”
Is wasting our precious tax dollars on pompous, pretentious rhetoric in a very upscale, high-dollar flier that undoubtedly will end up in the trash what Pompeo considers a bold idea to restore fiscal sanity, or upholding the moral obligation to cut spending to reach a balanced budget?
Two adages Pompeo should heed: “waste not, want not” and “put your money where your mouth is.” Responsible stewardship of our tax dollars in all respects is a more reasonable path to fiscal sanity. Your actions need to reflect your words.
Who would move?
Gov. Sam Brownback has signed HB 2117 into law, which is described as the worst tax bill in the history of the state. Brownback’s administration has said the cuts could generate 23,000 new jobs beyond natural growth by 2020. But public school funding and social services will be cut to the bare bone to maintain a balanced budget. Kansas higher education could see massive tuition increases as well.
Even if these jobs are created, how many will be filled? Who in his right mind would move to a state that does not fund education or social services for the elderly and disabled?