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 12-19-14

Dear Editor,  In March 2014, a group of young professionals in Concordia started meeting monthly to network and begin working on projects that would benefit our community. Many of us had been active in the Park Project and wanted to continue the momentum. We started calling... [More]

Year of Peace

Sometimes a gift is more than just what's under the tree  By Sister Jean Rosemarynoski  Christmas is a time when differences seem to melt away and we more readily come together as a human community to care for one another.  The Concordia Year of Peace would like... [More]

More Opinions

NEWS

Winners announced in lighting contest

 Winners of the Concordia Christmas Lighting Contest were decided earlier this week with Leroy Dickinson and Dan Wheatley, 719 W. 6th street winning the first place award of a $100 Chamber gift certificate.  Second place of a $75 Chamber gift certificate went to Rickey... [More]

Courthouse 12-19-14

District Court District Court CRIMINAL  Jared W. Shuler appeared Dec. 17 and was found Guilty and convicted of Big Game Permit Violation. He was sentenced to 30 days in the Cloud County Jail and ordered to pay a reduced fine of $250, costs of the action, $108 by Jan. 28,... [More]

Commission approves bond sale for dam projects

By Jessica LeDuc Blade Staff Writer  The Concordia City Commission approved the sale of $1.2 million in general obligation bonds to fund construction of the Plum Road and 21st Street dams Wednesday night. Chuck Boully with George K. Baum & Co., Wichita, told the Commission... [More]

More News

SPORTS

Bulldogs pin loss on Panthers in league dual

thumb

 The Concordia High School wrestling team was beaten 46-36 by Marysville in a North Central Kansas League dual Thursday night in the Concordia Junior-Senior High School gymnasium. Concordia got out to an 18-0 lead by winning the first three matches.  Zach Strait, 106... [More]

Four Panthers receive state recognition

 Four members of the Concordia High School football team have received all-state recognition.  Running back Drake Hake was named first team Class 4A-Division II All-State by the VarsityKansas.com and first team Class 4A All-State by the Topeka Capital Journal. A 5-7,... [More]

More Sports

Buy Photos