Letters to the Editor

Letters on sales tax, Davis, Brownback, Roberts, forced retirement

Vote ‘yes’ if you believe in Wichita

Six years ago my wife and I moved our family to Wichita. We love our new community and the people who care greatly about each other and about our city’s future.

Last week Wichita hosted Brad Segal at the final Fuel the Fire speaker series event. A real-estate economist and planner, Segal researches market trends throughout North America and has worked with more than 150 different cities.

One of his main messages was that in six years millennials will make up half the workforce, so it’s imperative we continue to develop a community that will retain and recruit young talent. And that requires having a community that believes in itself.

Another main message was that there will be winners and losers among American cities in the future. Those cities that choose to invest in themselves will be the winners.

Please vote “yes” for investing in our community and believing in our city. Please vote “yes” for the sales tax on Tuesday.



Tax hike high

As a resident of Kechi, I won’t have the opportunity to vote against the proposed 1-cent sales tax hike. But because I would be affected by the increase, I would like to point out that adding a penny to the current sales tax rate (raising it from 7.15 to 8.15 percent) actually amounts to a 14 percent increase. I would also point out that when the state increased the sales tax by a penny in 2010 (from 6.3 to 7.3 percent in Sedgwick County), that equated to an increase of almost 16 percent increase at the time.

When Social Security recipients are regularly told there is little-to-no inflation and are forced to live with meager cost-of-living increases of 1.5 to 2 percent per year (if that), I think the increases in sales tax seem excessive. Admittedly, inflation is much higher than what we are being told. Anyone who regularly buys groceries knows this is true. But that also means sales tax revenues must be going up as well, because higher prices mean higher taxes, even when the rate stays the same.



Be a ‘yea-sayer’

The power of being for something instead of being against it is how to effect positive change in our community. Wichita is at a crossroads. The time is past for Wichita naysayers, and the time is now for Wichitans to say “yes” in making Wichita a vibrant community. Transit, affordable water and jobs growth help all of us, especially the poor. Be a “yea-sayer” instead of a naysayer. Vote “yes” for Wichita Tuesday.



The best choice

Upon graduating from college in Arkansas with teaching degrees, my wife and I did considerable research regarding state support for public education. We chose Kansas. The salaries were superior to surrounding states, and the public support was outstanding. I later taught at Sacred Heart Academy, Campus High School, and in the Goddard and Maize districts. At the same time, we were both working other occupations as well, including the development of Prairie Pines Christmas Tree Farm.

For generations, both sides of our family have been Republicans. This is important to point out, because our endorsement of the Democratic gubernatorial ticket of Paul Davis and Jill Docking is not a partisanship decision. It is clearly the best choice for three important reasons:

▪  It is unreasonable that an LLC business is exempt from paying state income tax but salaried employees must pay. This must change.

▪  State base aid funding for education has dropped significantly under the present administration. This must change.

▪  The efforts of the present administration to change Medicare to a state-run system should be frightening to seniors. This must not happen.

We strongly urge citizens to become informed and vote for Davis and Docking.



Working for us

We want people to know that for perhaps the first time, state government is working for us, not against us:

▪  Privatization of Medicaid (KanCare). Competition for the business of providing services for our son who is disabled now means issues are resolved in an environment of accountability that reduces waste for the taxpayer and expands services to those on waiting lists, even as they can ultimately affect the bottom line of providers if not resolved.

▪  Public education. We commend school administrators and teachers who are increasingly more creative and innovative in overcoming challenges and achieving goals. Despite the rhetoric, current funding combined with more critical thinking and hard work can accomplish the mission.

▪  Taxes. As sole proprietors who “eat what we kill” to make ends meet, we are grateful for the modest but crucial state tax cuts. Despite the empty narrative that these cuts benefit only “the rich,” this reduced burden is a welcome lifeline for us and many other small-business owners we know.

We urge Kansas families not to buy into the “sky is falling” hysteria of those who favor a return to the old status quo (Democrats Paul Davis and Jill Docking). As proud Kansans, we urge our fellow citizens to re-elect Sam Brownback as governor.



Send a message

Gov. Sam Brownback’s economic policies for Kansas would be a real “Laffer” if they weren’t hurting real people and our state’s economic well-being.

How much longer does our state have to suffer through downgrades of its credit rating? How much longer do we have to participate in a grand “experiment” not of our choosing?

It’s time for Kansans to send the governor a simple and clear message: No more experimenting with our lives and our state.

Head to the polls and vote for Democrats Paul Davis and Jill Docking. It’s the only kind of message he will understand.



Ag needs Roberts

Any Kansan even remotely tied to the state’s agricultural industry had better think seriously before voting Sen. Pat Roberts, R-Kan., out of office. His departure would mean the loss of the last agricultural committee representation Kansas farmers and ranchers have in Washington, D.C., after Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, was booted from the House Agriculture Committee two years ago.

Roberts’ return to the Senate is extremely critical to the state’s largest industry, as the senator stands to be the chairman of the Senate Agriculture Committee with a Republican takeover of the Senate.

No one knows better than Roberts how to protect the interests of Kansas farmers and ranchers in Congress. He wrote the 1996 Freedom to Farm bill and has since worked hard to keep much-needed crop insurance legislation in place – the key element of current farm policy and essential to the Kansas economy.

Let’s retain Roberts and keep a strong voice for farmers and ranchers in Washington.



Force retirement

If after all the shenanigans that Gov. Sam Brownback has pulled over the course of the past few years – cutting taxes for the wealthiest few and businesses while raising the tax burden on low-income Kansans, declaring war on teachers and the judicial branch, and plunging the state toward bankruptcy – and if after the grandstanding and gallivanting all over the country suppressing the vote by Secretary of State Kris Kobach, these two individuals are re-elected, then I fear there truly is no hope for the state of Kansas.

If the voters of Kansas are paying attention to what has been happening and not just watching and listening to the millions of dollars’ worth of ads, Brownback and Kobach will be retired.



Letters to the Editor

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For more information, contact Phillip Brownlee at 316-268-6262, pbrownlee@wichitaeagle.com.