Letter to the Editor 2-22-13

Dear Editor,
In regard to the new hospital proposal, and dollars and cents:
My estimate of what the new hospital will cost the average Cloud County individual is $60 per year. (This is ASSUMING all goes as planned for the next quarter century – until the year 2036.  AND assuming that the FAA, KDOT, and all the other entities involved will be easier to deal with than the FAA was with the college and the wind turbines.) I estimate that the average citizen will spend about $8,000 PER YEAR on items that are subject to sales tax. (That is, of course, assuming that you do 90 percent of your purchasing in Cloud County.) This includes food, clothing, updating vehicles, vehicle repair, fuel, remodeling materials, some parts of utilities, furniture, Christmas gifts, entertainment, liquor, cigarettes, etc.  Sixty dollars extra per year for a new hospital- that doesn’t sound like much does it? Now multiply that by 23 and you come up with about $1,380.  Now figuring in a modest amount of inflation over the next 23 years, I estimate that the average individual will invest at least $2,000 in the new hospital over the life of the bonds. For an average family of four – that is an $8,000 investment. You may also want to factor in what the expected lifespan of the new hospital will be. The current hospital is about 60 years old. IF the proposed hospital is constructed as well as the current one, that would suggest that after 23 years, the new hospital is almost halfway way into its lifespan.
The sales tax is a ‘crafty’ tax.  From ‘Kansas Tax Facts’, the below is the history of Kansas Sales Tax Rates:
2 percent --1937
2.5 percent--1958
3 percent--- 1965
4 percent--- 1986
4.25 percent ---1989
4.9 percent---1992
5.3 percent--- 2002
6.3 percent---2010 to present
From 1965 to 1985, on the $8,000 dollars we spent annually, an extra $240 went to the state. At some point the city and the county each joined in for an additional 1 percent each, making the current rate in Concordia 8.3 percent.  The current proposal is for it to inch over nine percent in Concordia, which would be a total of $724 per year of sales tax to the various entities.
For lack of a better term, I am going to call it the ‘Tax Creep Bogie’ (TCB for short).  In the vein of my old favorite ‘Alice’s Restaurant’ – "all you gotta do to join is- - - ."  To do the TCB you gently shuffle forward. For a few steps you can go sideways, but NEVER backwards. Is there a ‘ceiling’ to how high sales taxes can go? One would like to think so – but evidently not.
Don’t get me wrong- I think the sales tax is better than the property tax for funding a hospital. It is more equally shared by all citizens. As a rule, the sales tax is more of a burden for lower income families, but it is a tax that you can control. Just don’t buy stuff. Trade, barter, salvage, buy privately, make do, buy used, etc.
Anyway, there you have it. If you want to ‘join in’ on the Tax Creep Bogie, and you want all the other people in Cloud County to do the TCB with you, and have a brand new hospital next to the airport, take your chances with the FAA, build all new infrastructure, etc. – then you vote "Yes."
On the other hand, if you think there needs to be a more reasonable approach to updating the hospital, then you vote "No."

Ron Elniff


Letter to the Editor 10-14-16

Dear Editor,  Relay for Life 2016 in the books. Saturday October 8th, 2016 turned out to be a very beautiful Fall day. The day started out warm and cooled off as the survivors showed up to start off the 2016 Relay for Life survivor lap to start the festivities. Boy Scout... [More]

Prairie Pondering

 Taking our flag to a moral dry cleaning . . . Watching Trump reminds me of earlier days while trying to get more background in order to understand him. His mother was a native of Scotland–the northernmost part, cold, poverty everywhere, young women desperately trying... [More]

More Opinions


Concerns raised about hiring nurse at jail

Diana Gering, Health Department administrator and six RNs attended Monday's Cloud County Commission meeting and discussed the hiring of a nurse at the Law Enforcement Center. Highway administrator Andy Asch, Solid Waste director Mike Hake and treasurer JoDee LeDuc also were present... [More]

For the record 10-25-16

Police Dept. Report Arrest—Officers arrested David Jones, 49, Concordia, at 9:05 p.m., Oct. 24, at the intersection of College Drive and Lincoln. He was charged with Pedestrian Under the Influence and Pedestrian Solicitation Contribution and transported to Cloud County... [More]

Courthouse 10-24-16

District Court CRIMINAL Robert Allen Lindsey appeared Oct. 21 and was found Guilty and convicted of Transporting an Open Container. He was sentenced to one month in the Cloud County Jail and ordered to pay the costs of this action, $158, attorney fees of $100 and a fine of $100... [More]

More News


CCCC blanks Bethany JV

LINDSBORG — The Cloud County Community College soccer team finished off an unbeaten regular season by shutting out the Bethany College junior varsity 5-0 on Monday night. Cloud County, 15-0-1, will host Neosho County Community College in the opening round of the Region... [More]

Blue Dragons down T-Birds

Playing the first of three home matches in four days to finish up the regular season, the Cloud County Community College volleyball team was beaten in three sets by Hutchinson Community College. Cloud County, 11-19 overall and 5-9 in the Jayhawk Conference, had a 23-21 lead in... [More]

More Sports

Buy Photos