Archive for Thursday, March 31, 2005

Once a tax…

March 31, 2005

To the editor:

The current 1 percent sales tax was passed for a 10-year period to get a new Justice Center, City Police and Sheriff's Departments and a new jail. It does not sunset until Dec. 31, 2006. The politicians want us to vote on keeping the sales tax on April 5. If it does not pass this year, they will be back next year. If they can't get us to buy it this time, they will work harder (next time) to convince us to give them our money.

Their thought process is that politicians can figure out ways to spend our money more wisely than we can.

The initial sales tax was passed for very specific needs with stated costs. The rationale to extend the tax is a lot of generic wish-list items with not a lot of details provided. Note the vagueness about how much will be spent for each thing on their wish list. It is a mumble-jumble catchall of things with no specifics of why any of them are needed.

The fact is none of them are needed at the cost of continuing the sales tax.

This attempt to keep the tax proves the often-heard point that "once a tax is passed it never goes away."

In addition to the 1 percent sales tax the county wants, the state may consider imposing higher state income taxes, gas taxes, cigarette taxes, etc. The school board in Lansing is pushing for $23 million for a new school (by the taxpayers) and the county is raising assessed property valuations each year (which is also an annual tax increase).

When is enough taxation enough? There comes a point when we need to tell local government "make do with what you have." Live within your means the same as most hard-working people try to do.

It just may be possible that a lot of residents like the Lansing /Leavenworth area for its sense of being semi-rural with a small-town atmosphere. Anyone desiring a large metropolitan atmosphere can find Kansas City just to our south.

Don't let politicians use scare tactics and stories to scare you into voting for the tax. You may have heard that your property taxes will be raised if you do not vote for the sales tax. Since the 1 percent sales tax was initially passed, property taxes have roughly doubled. Property taxes are going to go up regardless of whichever way you vote, due to the rising valuations in property over the past few years.

April 5 is the time to take a stand and VOTE NO.

John Bradford



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