Letters to the Editor

Letters on sales tax, business exemption, police problem

Sales tax is not ‘most fair tax’

The contention by some legislators and others that the sales tax is the fairest needs to be challenged.

When the full tax rate applies to food, as it does in Kansas, it is the most regressive, meaning that it affects low- and moderate-income earners the most adversely.

For example, if the tax rate is 7.15 percent, and if a person who earns $20,000 a year spends all that income on taxable items, his tax rate is 7.15 percent. If another person who earns $75,000 spends $50,000 on taxable items, her rate is 4.77 percent. How is that “the most fair tax”?

In contrast, the income tax is the most progressive, meaning that those most able to pay are contributing their fair share for the common good.

The fairest solution to the state’s current revenue dilemma is to restore the income tax for everyone, and work at reducing and ultimately eliminating the sales tax on food.



Exempt from tax?

Why doesn’t The Eagle do an investigation on exactly how many state legislators are income-tax-exempt because of the law passed in 2012?

I have looked up several of the key ones pushing the sales tax and coming out against removing the business exemption. Almost without exception, the loudest voices against removing the business exemption have some type of private business or have family receiving the tax exemption.



Police problem

Lately, local law enforcement agencies have been using social media and a parade to repair their perceived image problem. Recent stories have mentioned how protests in Wichita and around the nation have damaged officers’ reputations.

Even the Wichita Police Department’s ongoing organizational reassessment pointed to a lack of effective communication as one of the department’s primary failings.

Law enforcement in America does not have an image problem, or a communication problem. It has an actual problem, and that problem is not going to be solved through Twitter or a parade.

The problems stem from a lack of transparency and a lack of accountability in regard to officer misconduct. Improving their public relations strategy will likely distract the public from these issues for a time, but unrest will resurface, again and again, until these agencies address the root of the problem, openly and honestly.



Letters to the Editor

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For more information, contact

Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.