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 11-30-15

Dear Editor, Subject: Syria-ously  Tim Huelskamp finally arrived in Salina Nov. 23rd, after town-hauling it all over West-Central smaller towns. Speculation was, he didn’t want to face more critical questions likely in more populous areas.   Turns out,... [More]

Letter to the Editor 11-27-15

 Dear Editor,  On November 30, 2015, the Board of Trustees (BOT) at Cloud County Community College (CCCC) presumably will decide whether (1) to deactivate the men's soccer program and initiate men's wrestling at CCCC or (2) to let the athletic program remain as it is... [More]

More Opinions


CCCC trustees vote to retain men’s program

The Cloud County Community College Board of Trustees unanimously voted to keep the men's soccer program during Monday's special meeting, as well as renewing the contract of men's head soccer coach, James Ross. The board also authorized Dr. Danette Toone, president of the college,... [More]

County commission meets

 The Cloud County Board of Commissioners, including Bill Czapanskiy, Gary Caspers and Gail Engle, along with County Clerk, Shella Thoman, met Monday morning. The cold, wet and snowy conditions may have contributed to the lack of news reported during the meeting. Brian Marks,... [More]

For the record 12-1-15

Police Dept. Report Accidents—Officers investigated a vehicle-deer accident at 7:40 p.m., Nov. 25, in the 1400 block of East 11th Street. A vehicle driven by Bonnie J. Trost, Concordia, struck a deer at that location. Officers investigated an accident at 8:30 p.m., Nov.... [More]

More News


Pirates use barrage of free throws to sink T-Birds


 Cloud County’s bid to open Jayhawk Conference play with a home win over unbeaten Independence Community College ran afoul.  The Thunderbirds were whistled for 29 fouls, and the Pirates shot 30 more free throws on its way to an 84-73 victory Monday night in Bryant... [More]

CCCC fends off Pirates, 77-65


 Kicking off conference play more than a month earlier than they have in past years, the Cloud County Thunderbirds outscored Independence Community College 17-6 over the final 5:31 to lock up a 77-65 victory Monday night in Bryant Gymnasium. With the Jayhawk Conference combining... [More]

More Sports

Buy Photos