Speak out blogs

Blogs home concerned about spending

Who voted for the School Bond

It's my understanding a large organization in Baldwin wanted the ground where the primary center sits on, and this organization had a assembly and asked all eligible voters to vote for the bond issue so this ground would become available. The problem is, all these voters do not own real estate in Baldwin and will be gone within 4 to 5 years and leave the burden of paying for the school to the taxpayers. This is a sad way of getting a new school and you would think the school board and the supt. knew of this.

May 13, 2009

concerned about spending

Comments

Bloggerboo 5 years, 7 months ago

So, did they want the land, or did they want the new school?

Most everyone believes Baker will end up owning the land. I expect Baker will be around for longer than 4-5 years. Your post really makes no sense at all.

0

b8es 5 years, 7 months ago

Blogg – I don't know about Baker being around longer than 4-5 years. The way they keep mindlessly dumping money they don't have into needless new athletic programs while increasing tuition, laying off critical staff, and reducing education services makes me wonder. I know that's off-topic. Sorry.

0

501gdm2 5 years, 7 months ago

The comment about being around 4 to 5 years were the students who voted for the bond.

0

Peabody 5 years, 7 months ago

501gdm2,

I fail to understand why it is you believe Baker students should be disenfranchised. Does a voter have to own land or be in a community longer than 4 years to vote in local elections? Your post implies certain requirements that are clearly unconstitutional.

If you truly believe what your are suggesting, then you should take your case to the Kansas and United States legislatures, not to Speakout. These students did nothing illegal in casting their votes in ways that reflected their interests.

Tony Brown

0

501gdm2 5 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Brown

I agree that Baker students should have the right to vote the way they like but what I dsisagree with is Baker holding a assembly asking students to vote for the school bond, and if it passed, this would give Baker the oportunity to purchase the land. Baker should have stayed out of the vote since they had a interest in the land.

0

Peabody 5 years, 7 months ago

501gdm2,

Thanks for your response.

To my knowledge, Baker University did not hold or sponsor any assembly urging students to vote for the school bond. If you have evidence to the contrary, please submit it.

Tony Brown

0

NanCrisp 5 years, 7 months ago

Now that property values are down, governments won't have the bucks they'd banked on to fund all their necessary programs. So that means our taxes will have to increase percentage-wise. As a matter of fact, look for massive increases in taxes, as the legislators (especially Democrats) won't want to keep cutting funding. This is the endgame we should have been expecting all along. The best that taxpayers can do right now is be very, very sure you are living well below your means. Because you'd better have plenty of room in the family budget (and the business plan, if you're a business owner) for the tax hits that are coming down on you. And remember, taxes only go up; never down. So make that a permanent part of your plan.

So, now that we're facing a lot more than just a small increase, how many of us want our taxes to go up to build a new school, ballfields and auditorium? Is a couple million to renovate the school building we already have starting to look a little more sane than building a new one? Anyone wish we hadn't allowed our elementary school to be broken into two separate school buildings in the first place? Anyone wonder how long it will take the school district to under-maintain the new facilities to the same degree that they've managed to let our existing school buildings deteriorate? Isn't it about time we demand that school districts get out of the real estate development business and put our tax dollars toward maintaining the buildings we've already bought for them, adequately supplying those buildings with books, computers and the things that are bona fide teaching tools, and spend more money on teachers than on land, buildings and sports facilities?

0

Bloggerboo 5 years, 7 months ago

NanCrips, move to Canada. It would suit you so much better. You could literally look down on all of us idiots from your artificial, self-anointed throne of Knowitall.

0

Peabody 5 years, 7 months ago

Nancy,

Just to be clear, the State of Kansas has cut taxes, mostly to businesses, by $12 billion since 1995. If we had been just a bit more modest and only cut these taxes by $11 billion, we wouldn't be in the pickle in which we currently find ourselves.

I am well aware that you do not favor any government services to anyone at anytime in any manner, but not everybody agrees with your perspective. Schools and people in need still count to some of us.

Tony Brown

0

NanCrisp 5 years, 7 months ago

"I am well aware that you do not favor any government services to anyone at anytime in any manner."

Tony, you could not be more mistaken. We do need services. The problems come when those services grow so big that they can't seem to find the way to reduce themselves. They forget that their funding is finite and they especially forget that they were created in the first place by the will of the people. If the majority of the people become unable to support those services (note I did not say unwilling, but unable), then something has to change.

I am calling for compromise and sanity, not for the abolishment of services. When you have no one checking and balancing your expenditures, you tend to spend frivolously. So we need both liberals and conservatives, but mostly we need moderates, which is what I happen to be. I am very concerned about the level of spending that has grown out of control, and people can argue back and forth all day long and point fingers, but the truth lies smack in the center.

As for the $12 billion that has gone to businesses in the form of reduced taxes, do you not realize that our ship would have sunk already if those businesses, over the past two to three years, had been absorbing all these financial losses, cost of goods increases (mostly in the form of energy costs), cost of insurance increases, AND at the same time the higher tax rate we previously had? The legislators who supported those tax breaks helped save this State from having even less revenue available, by virtue of having helped keep thousands of struggling businesses open. Much of the "pickle" we are currently in is caused by the lack of business, which results in the lack of taxes paid. You can put more businesses under and then try to prop up your tax base by taking a greater percentage from the ones who remain, or you can promote business and help businesses keep their doors open, and then your tax base will grow and so will your revenues.

0

Peabody 5 years, 7 months ago

Nancy,

I was too harsh in my comment on your views on government services and I apologize. I've been watching too much of Hannity.

On the other hand, I do challenge you to provide some hard data on your economic assessment of tax cuts. We've given $12 billion to Kansas businesses over the last 14 years and I want to know what we've gotten for that, both as a taxpayer and as a legislator. I need to see the money, not the theory. I don't think that's unreasonable.

I personally believe investing in a child's education or providing therapeutic services to a person with physical challenges is as important as giving a tax break to Sprint. You may be correct that Sprint will eventually get around to increasing funding for education and social services, but my bias is not to wait for those funds to trickle down. Kids grow up and persons with challenges decline while we wait for promised business growth.

I trust this is a difference in our emphases and not our fundamental philosophies. We both want healthy businesses, school systems, and social services in Kansas. How we get to that end is the puzzle we face.

Respectfully, tony

0

Torch 5 years, 7 months ago

"This is the endgame we should have been expecting all along."

We were expecting it. I posted warnings about the size and scope of the bond well before the recession really hit...and of course was totally ignored.

Tony, I think you're in a circular argument here. I see what you are saying and it's clearly a liberal perspective. Giving tax cuts to businesses allows them to stay in business and provide jobs. Those job-holders then pay taxes. I know you know this and won't pretend to try and debate it with you.

It's easy to say that we shouldn't have given big tax cuts to businesses now that the economy has collapsed. But what you don't know is what would have happened if we hadn't done it to start with.

But it is important that you point out that the tax cuts were given to businesses, not the average Joe. We middle class are funding everything in this country and even you have to agree that somewhere short of 100 percent taxation it needs to stop. Where is that?

I wasn't against all of the aspects of the school bond. However, there was way too much gluttage and local 'pork' in there. Over and over I warned about taking on too much debt on the verge of a recession. Children in grade school will be paying for this if they can even afford to live in this community when they graduate. We're spending THEIR money.

"I personally believe investing in a child's education or providing therapeutic services to a person with physical challenges is as important as giving a tax break to Sprint."

This is a typical approach to the subject. Liberals like yourself always throw the poor children and the handicapped in our faces as if we don't know what's going on. I agree that investing in a child's education is important, but not at the expense of taxing the family so much that it becomes un-affordable. Additionally, 'investing in a child's education' can mean a lot of things - not just dollars. Giving that child's parents the wherewithal to provide a safe and comfortable living environment at home as well as saving for higher education is equally important.

Throwing millions of dollars at a problem isn't necessarily 'investing' in it. Doing more with less, increased accountability, cutting frivolous programs, etc. is also investing in education. Spending money wisely is more important that simply spending money. The trouble is, this district and community simply spends money.

If 'investing in education' means 'pay teachers more' then that is an ignorant approach. If you mean 'pay good teachers more and get rid of the bad teachers' that's another story...but we both know that thanks to the union and tenure that is impossible. So you ask us to throw more and more money at incompetent teachers and then come to us and cry about 'the poor children.' The children are victims alright - victims of a system that doesn't reward the good teachers and eliminate the bad. That, Sir, is waste.

0

Peabody 5 years, 7 months ago

Torch,

Just show me the data on how these tax cuts have produced more revenue for the State of Kansas. If you or Nancy can give me that data, I'm on board and will take your argument to Topeka with full force.

Tony Brown tonybrownforkansas@gmail.com 594-2596

0

NanCrisp 5 years, 7 months ago

Tony, the difference between us is I'm talking about Rinehart Construction, and you’re talking about Sprint. I’ll ask you: Can you show me data that businesses such as Sprint and Koch have received an inordinate share of that $12 billion?

Because my guess is that thousands of Kansas businesses received hundreds of dollars in tax breaks (as opposed to a handful of big businesses receiving tens of thousands of dollars). The only example I can credibly give is our own company. With five employees, if we have to lay off one, that’s a 20% workforce reduction. Conversely, if we’re able to give everyone one extra dollar per man hour worked, that can be the difference between self-reliance for them and having to sign up for foodstamps. I can’t speak for other businesses, but I’m pretty sure the small business owners I know are more likely to invest those tax breaks in employees than in anything else. Some may use the extra money to buy equipment, though, and that might help someone at Heritage Tractor get or keep a job, too. I can’t prove that this is what businesses have done with the tax break money. Do you have hard data proving they lined their own pockets? Is it not as worthwhile to keep people fully employed so they can be self-supporting as it is to provide programs to support them? My belief is that programs should be available for those who truly have no other options, but we should endeavor to have as much self-sufficiency as possible in our society.

As for what I've said about taxes going up, that refers to real estate taxes, which affect every property owner directly and every renter in the form of increased monthly rent. With property values down, revenues will go down unless taxes are increased. If taxes are increased to make up for the loss, we can rest assured that when property values start to go up again the tax increase will not be reversed.

The scope and depth of the recession we are in leads to several predictable results falling like dominoes. The latest has been the scramble for the shrinking pool of money. At first we thought someone had all the money and just needed prodding to come out with it. Now it looks more like everyone was bluffing. Businesses and individuals alike were way overextended. We could start printing more money, but the majority of Americans aren’t quite ready to pitch ourselves and our future generations into hyperinflation. So the phase we’re in now is the negotiation between everyone taking a little (maybe a lot) less and everyone giving back as much as they can: a combination of reduction of government programs and tax increases. I don’t see how we can avoid either, therefore, I do believe taxes are going up. And I want people to be aware of this and try to plan for this, because the worst thing I see happening is people getting caught unprepared for all the financial upheaval they're experiencing from all sides.

0

Peabody 5 years, 7 months ago

Nancy,

I don't know off the top of my head if larger companies got the lion's share of the tax cuts, but I will try to find out and let you, and other readers, know.

I will say that a majority of the lobbying done by the state chamber of commerce is for big business and not for companies like Rinehart Construction. I fully agree with you that we need to help small businesses in Kansas out as much as we can. But the focus, as far as I know, is decidedly not at that level.

I'll locate more information and get back to you with some better answers.

Tony

0

Torch 5 years, 7 months ago

Ok Tony...I'll just cut it down to one question for you. Just one, simple question:

How much of my income do you think is enough? How much do you think is fair for Federal, State, and Local taxation.

Surely you have a number in mind. 40%? 50%? 60%? 70%?

What is fair?

You're the representative. Tell me right now how much of my income you need to make all your dreams come true. I want to know so I can budget for it.

0

Torch 5 years, 7 months ago

You owe me and every resident in your community an answer. How much is enough? Is that a tough question? Can you stick to it?

Do you need 90 percent of my income to make Kansas a nirvana?

Surely you've pondered this question. As the representative you MUST have figured out what the maximum tax burden for a middle-class Kansas resident is.

0

Bloggerboo 5 years, 7 months ago

Aren't there too many variables to put this all on Tony's (the states) shoulders to answer?

I mean, do you just want the state's percent, or are you saying the state needs to consider what you are already paying local city/county taxes before they determine a rate? Seems to me there are too many ways to be taxed to ask Tony to put down a final answer.

However, as a theoretical question, which is maybe exactly how you meant it, it has merit. Regardless, I don't think Tony "owes" us an answer to that question. If he so offers, it would be an interesting discussion.

0

Torch 5 years, 7 months ago

Thank you for not blasting me for a change Bloggerboo.

As our representative to the state he needs to consider the entire tax burden of his constituents. If every taxing authority works in a vacuum without considering the other then there would be no limit to how much taxation we would have to bear.

When he throws out terms like 'investing in education' without saying 'investing wisely in education' it implies that we're not spending enough as it is.

In any case, you make a fair point and so I'll narrow it down: How much of my income does the State of Kansas need? What is the limit? Who is drawing the line that we won't go past?

0

Peabody 5 years, 7 months ago

Torch,

Thanks for calling me out. I am more than happy to respond to your questions.

The current Kansas State Income Tax rates are 6.25% for persons making $15K and 6.45% for persons making $30K and above. That's it, unless you are making less than $15K. I am assuming that is not the case with you, Torch. But I await to be corrected.

State individual income tax collection per capita was estimated in 2007 to be $992, ranking 17th among the 50 US states (Source: Tax Foundation, Washington, DC).

If you would like to give 40, 50, 60, 70, 80, 90% of your income to the State of Kansas, I'm sure we would accept it. But the numbers at the state level do not bear this excessive burden out. Rather, we appear to be a low tax state relative to our neighbors.

Thanks for the question, Torch. Please let me know if I can provide any additional information to assist you in understanding current state issues.

Tony Brown

0

oldschool 5 years, 7 months ago

The State income tax is just a drop in the bucket. We have to factor in Federal income tax, FICA/Medicare tax, sales tax, real estate tax on our homes, personal property tax on vehicles, cell phone taxes, gas tax, etc etc etc.............. I would say the 40-50% level is realistic. That hurts.

0

Torch 5 years, 7 months ago

Thank you for responding tony. Your sarcasm is appreciated by me of all people. I do hope you treat your other constituents with more courtesy. In my case I don't care.

I wish you would have read my question better...and do hope you have a bit better comprehension when you're dealing with 'understanding current state issues.'

I didn't ask you what the current rate is. Nor did I offer 40 percent or more to the state. What I asked you is - and I'll capitalize it so you will perhaps gain comprehension this time - WHAT IS THE LIMIT? What tax rate do you - as our representative - feel is the maximum amount you would ask of us to support Kansas?

I don't care where we're ranked. I don't care how we compare to our neighbors (which is a cop-out as you have to look at a number of considerations there). What I want to know is what OUR representative thinks is enough. Let's say for people making $30,000 and above since you would starve in Baldwin at an income below that.

Oldschool - I first asked the question about total taxation but Bloggerboo pointed out that it would be more appropriate to ask about our state taxation...that's why I narrowed it down.

As you can see, tony either evaded the question or doesn't understand it. In either case it's not encouraging.

0

Peabody 5 years, 7 months ago

Torch,

I understood your question, my friend. Here's a more direct answer for you: less than the current amount.

I would be elated to have the Kansas income tax rate be 0%, But I have a tough time determining where the money necessary to run state services would come from. I'm open to your suggestions.

I apologize for my discourteous tone -- you're correct that I should behave better as a public official.

I am, however, confounded by how you are not bound by the same level of courtesy because you are a private, and anonymous, citizen. You seem to believe you can be as belligerent as possible without any responsibility.

Why is that? Why do you believe it is appropriate to take potshots at those of us who are willing to serve the citizenry? I'm willing to take your criticism, but you ought to at least own it by identifying yourself.

Tony Brown

0

Torch 5 years, 7 months ago

Fortunately I'm not concerned by your thoughts on my courtesy. I'm not a public official nor do I seek such a position. As I stated I'm not bothered by your sarcasm as I realize I deserve it. What I said was I hope you treat others better. I don't care what you say to me.

When you say "less than the current amount" then what does that mean? Does it mean spending less on other services and putting more into education? Or finding ways to more wisely spend money? I can guarantee you that you could walk through every school in the state and find enough waste that we could be well within our means if only the districts were made to stick to the basics and get rid of the fluff. Note I didn't say cut salaries. I mean cut the stuff we do just because we can - not because it adds anything to the education of our children.

Here are some taxes for you to ponder. Notice 'State' is just one of them. Please think about this list when you say things like 'invest in edcuation'. I sure wish Cleavinger had thought about it before she said: 'it's for the kids.'

You may say: "You don't personally pay all those taxes." Maybe not...but I pay a majority of them. How? Because the cost of that Food License tax is passed on to the consumer. And by the way - this is by no means a complete list. Enjoy.

Accounts Receivable Tax Building Permit Tax Capital Gains Tax CDL License Tax Cigarette Tax Corporate Income Tax Court Fines (indirect taxes) Dog License Tax FCC Fees Federal Income Tax Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA) Fishing License Tax Food License Tax Franchise Fees Fuel Permit Tax Gasoline Tax (42 cents per gallon) Hunting License Tax Inheritance Tax Interest Expense (tax on the money) Inventory Tax I RS Interest Charges (tax on top of tax) IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax) Liquor Tax Local Income Tax Luxury Taxes Marriage License Tax Medicare Tax Property Tax Real Estate Tax Recreational Vehicle Tax Road Toll Booth Taxes Road Usage Taxes (truckers) Sales Taxes School Tax Septic Permit Tax Service Charge Taxes Social Security Tax State Income Tax State Unemployment Tax (SUTA) Telephone Federal Excise Tax Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax Telephone State and Local Tax Telephone Usage Charge Tax Toll Bridge Taxes Toll Tunnel Taxes Trailer Registration Tax Utility Taxes Vehicle License Registration Tax Vehicle Sales Tax Watercraft Registration Tax Well Permit Tax Workers’ Compensation Tax

0

Torch 5 years, 6 months ago

Thanks Tony.

I'm comforted at night knowing I'm sleeping beneath the blanket of your representation.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.