Letters to the editor on state income taxes and Kellogg sales tax

11/05/2013 12:00 AM

11/04/2013 5:09 PM

State tax policy unfair to workers

Nearly every day I speak to fellow Kansans and ask them to tell me the reasons they vote Republican in state elections. After listening intently, I point out that Kansas residents who make their living as “W-2” employees are subject to paying Kansas state income tax, whereas “pass-through” income – income derived from a person’s ownership of a business organized as a sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company or Subchapter S corporation – is now exempt from state income tax.

This means that lawyers, dentists, accountants, doctors and others who own businesses that organized as sole proprietorships, LLCs, etc., do not pay Kansas state income tax on their usual operating profit, but those with no ownership interest who work for them are subject to paying Kansas state income tax.

Is this fair? Of course it isn’t. Oh, and one more thing you W-2 employees need to know: The far right-wing Republicans in Kansas also want to take away your home mortgage interest deduction at the state level, and other deductions allowed under state income-tax laws, so you can pay even more Kansas state income tax.

Few people I talk to who are W-2 employees understand that this is the current tax law in Kansas. When I tell them, they don’t believe me. They can’t comprehend that our Kansas legislators would act in such an unfair manner when it comes to sharing the common burden of supporting our state government operations.

Having learned this, what you do with this information is up to you.

M. DUANE COYLE

Wichita

End Kellogg tax

Successful transit systems, experts tell us, have dedicated funding sources. Well, Sedgwick County already has a dedicated 1 percent countywide sales tax.

Sadly, the proceeds are dedicated not to transit but to building freeways and repairing roads – activities that rightfully should be paid for by drivers, not by people who are buying broccoli.

It is time to reconsider this 1980s-era tax.

In fact, it is time to completely rethink highway funding. Technology is moving fast, and the day when we will be forced to resort to tolls for highway funding is closer than you think.

As for the freeway tax, put it on the ballot. Whether we redirect it to rebuild our long-neglected transit system or simply repeal it, it’s time to end this travesty.

Taxing food to pay for freeways? Shame on you, Sedgwick County.

ALDEN WILNER

Bel Aire

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