Real tax burden
A series of otherwise well-written articles, editorials and opinion pieces in the Sunday Eagle perpetuated the myth of the largest tax increase in history in 2017. What happened was the restoration of income taxes from over 300,000 earners, many of them in the upper-income brackets. This happened with the responsible action of a majority of legislators, who succeeded in overriding the governor’s veto. It ended the several-year tax holiday enjoyed by this group to the detriment of the rest of us.
This may sound like semantics, but the real increase came several years ago when the sales-tax rate was raised, and the deductions for mortgage interest, real-estate taxes and health-related costs were reduced, then eliminated. The higher sales-tax rate continues to apply in full to food, which is the most regressive and least fair tax of all and a disproportionate burden on low- and middle-income citizens.
Bill Zuercher, Hesston
Criticism of officer unwarranted
I am amazed at the number of “experts” we have locally and nationwide with such vast backgrounds in police work and what it entails. It is comforting to know that all of these “experts” know exactly what the officer involved in the recent swatting incident should have done or not done.
The experienced officer has probably seen things that would curl the hair of most civilians and seen situations where a gun appeared unexpectedly in the hands of a person being questioned. The man who was shot was told to keep his hands in the air for a reason. He chose not to do that and made motions consistent with reaching for a weapon. I don’t know what was going through his mind, but his actions reflect someone who is used to having a weapon on his person and probably in a holster in the front of his pants.
It was a tragedy that never should have happened, but someone set the stage and got everyone wired tight on purpose, knowing that he was creating a potentially dangerous situation.
Robert S. Kailer, Wichita
Schools shouldn’t be in this spot
The slanted opinion piece in Saturday’s paper, “Kansans want Court out of school funding,” written by Kansas Policy Institute vice president James Franko, was typically misleading based on a survey that KPI’s far-right ideologies promote.
Not having seen the survey, I don’t know the questions asked or how questions were worded about school funding. However, this survey supposedly questioned whether the courts should determine how much is spent in school funding “in detriment of other social funding needs, i.e. public safety, social services, etc.” It is my assumption that the only accurate statement was that the majority don’t want tax increases, and that is a no-brainer.
However, the court is not writing the law but only upholding and making its decision based on what is currently the law, written in 1966. The Court has not rewritten the law. Second, taxes would not have necessarily needed to have been increased (by much if any) if it had not been for good ol’ Gov. Sam Brownback’s “tax experiment,” which took from the needy — school, social and public funding — and gave cuts to the corporations, LLCs and others, especially those with the name of Koch and their 1-percent cronies.
Tricia Glidewell, Wichita
Honest and open
As a new legislative session opens in Topeka, I would like to remind Kansans of a months-long Kansas City Star investigation. "Kansas runs one of the most secretive state governments in the nation, and its secrecy permeates nearly every aspect of service,” the series concluded.
Every Kansan should demand 100-percent transparency from her or his representatives. Particularly, no more anonymous legislation. Just like this newspaper will not run anonymous letters, neither should our legislators consider anonymous bills and amendments.
Reg Matz, Hillsboro
Michael Wolff’s new book, “Fire and Fury,” is the type of tabloid trash that many of President Trump’s supporters have proven themselves willing to believe, if it were written about someone they oppose. Rather than wallowing in gossip, the American people need to stay focused on factually verifiable information about concerns that impact our lives.
Let’s pay attention to issues surrounding education, freedom of the press, health, the environment and climate, international relations, political corruption, corporate greed, and human rights for all.
I plan to skip the book and read our Constitution instead.
Beverly Crowe, Bentley
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