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."

Respectfully,
Ron Elniff

OPINIONS

Letter to the Editor 4-18-14

Dear Editor,   Questions that need answers? 1. Why should we sign up for the Special Civility Pledge? 2. Isn't the “Bill of Rights” still acceptable?        3. Aren't the Ten Commandments still taught? 4. What happened to the... [More]

More Opinions

NEWS

Volunteers create mosaic for new playground

 Hundreds of volunteers wielding hammers and drills will descend on the construction site of Concordia's new destination playground next week, but much of the detail work began months ago.  The creators of Cloudville's most intricate feature, a 10-by-3-foot mosaic of... [More]

Medical Director of the Year

thumb

Cloud County Health Center Chief of Staff Dr. Justin Poore (left) was recently awarded the Kansas Emergency Medical Technicians Association's Medical Director of the Year award. This award honors special accomplishments, innovations, fresh ideas and significant contributions... [More]

For the record 4-18-14

Fire Dept./EMS Report At 8:47a.m., Thursday, Medic-5, Truck-1 went to the 400 block of West 10th and transported a 62-year-old female to Cloud County Health Center. At 2:08 p.m., Thursday, Medic-5, Rescue-1, Truck-1, Truck-2 went to Highway 24 and 90th Road for a one motor vehicle... [More]

More News

SPORTS

Panthers drop pair of league games to Wamego

WAMEGO — Concordia's reign atop the North Central Kansas League is in jeopardy after suffering a pair of losses to Wamego on Thursday. The Panthers, who have won five straight baseball league titles, fell 6-5 and 6-0 to the Red Raiders, and are now 0-2 in league play. “Right... [More]

Rimrodt places second in singles

thumb

 Concordia's Marcel Rimrodt placed second in number one singles in the tennis quadrangular the Panthers hosted on Thursday. Rimrodt suffered his only loss 8-6 to Gabe Johnson, Abilene, in the opening round. He then shut out Jacob Drey, Marysville, 8-0 and Paul Meyer, St.... [More]

More Sports

Buy Photos