Opinion Columns & Blogs

Big difference in financing of sales tax campaigns

The group backing the proposed Wichita sales tax increase had some big donors. The Leadership Council of the Wichita Metro Chamber of Commerce contributed $50,000; Intrust Bank, $40,000; Westar Energy, $25,000; and 17 other businesses or individuals each donated $5,000 or more. Still, that’s peanuts compared with what Koch Cos. Public Sector donated to the group opposing the sales tax. All but $3,165 of the $1,075,891 the opposing campaign collected from August through November came from Koch. And that doesn’t count the $118,823 that Americans for Prosperity, another organization with Koch support, spent opposing the tax increase. Though the financial support of the “no” campaign was one-sided, it had the support of voters, who defeated the initiative 62 to 37 percent. – Phillip Brownlee