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

In the Mean Time

 When I begin to feel agitated and upset with life in general and my life in particular, I know it's time for a checkup. I need to schedule an appointment for an attitude change. There are things that need to be checked, such as the level of my tolerance of others and myself.... [More]

Marion Ellet Remembered

  Our Marion Ellet was given star treatment in Kansas City last night. She is the subject of Tom Nelson's new documentary, "The Story of Marion Ellet," which was part of the Kansas City International Film Festival. It was attended by a hand- ful of former Concordians,... [More]

More Opinions

NEWS

Courthouse 10-24-14

District Court CRIMINAL  Lucas Ray Lintz appeared Oct. 23 and was found Guilty and convicted of Disorderly Conduct. He was sentenced to the custody of the Cloud County Jail for 10 days and ordered to pay a fine of $50, attorney fees of $42 and the costs of this action, $158.... [More]

Courthouse 10-23-14

District Court CIVIL Settled: In the case of State of Kansas, Cloud County, vs. Shawn J. Kirkman et al, defendant agreed to pay $10,000 in certified funds to the Cloud County Sheriff's Department and plaintiff agreed to release his property, the 2010 Ford F150 Raptor. Midland... [More]

County board sets time for plan extension hearing

Following a discussion with Ashley McMillan Hutchinson, CloudCorp executive director, about the Neighborhood Revitalization Program, Cloud County commissioners Monday set 3:15 p.m., Nov. 10, as the time for a  public hearing for consideration for the plan extension. McMillan... [More]

More News

SPORTS

T-Birds beat Colby

COLBY — Cloud County broke a tie for second place in the Jayhawk Conference Western Division by knocking off Colby Community College in five sets Wednesday night. The Thunderbirds and the Trojans were both 9-4 in the Conference heading into the match. Cloud County downed... [More]

Thunderbirds drop Grizzlies

thumb

 The Cloud County Thunderbirds notched a fifth straight Jayhawk Conference Western Division volleyball win by dropping Butler Community College 3-1 Monday night in Bryant Gymnasium. Cloud County has rattled off five wins in a row since a loss to Seward County, and is now... [More]

More Sports

Buy Photos