Letters to the 913 editor

10/29/2013 3:33 PM

10/29/2013 3:34 PM

Church, state ties

Two thousand years ago, the Christian (soon to be Catholic) church relegated its allegiance to the Roman Empire (thus the Roman Catholic Church). After the fall of Rome, the church became the defender of monarchies “whose power came from God.”

Following a rocky start in the new United States, it proclaimed that capitalism was the economic choice of the church and now feels strong enough to demand from our tax monies the salvation of their schools.

Perhaps they need to re-appeal to Rome.

John Nelles

Shawnee Roeland Park issue

Fellow Roeland Park residents, I urge you to vote “no” on the proposed sales tax increase. The core reasons are:

We’re being forced to absorb a 34 percent increase in personal property taxes and trash pickup fees, and certain residents are still paying on their storm-water assessments.

We voted a similar tax increase down in 2012, and this aggressive action is costing us additional money to say “no” again. The increased revenue is not tied to anything specific, as in paying down the debt. It is a blank check, and unencumbered revenues invite malfeasance.

With the new Wal-Mart in Westwood and a new Save-A-Lot in Kansas City, Kan., along with new stores to open in Mission, can we afford to give residents and non-residents a reason to shop outside of Roeland Park? Won’t this hurt existing businesses in Roeland Park and have a compounding, detrimental effect upon multiple sales within Roeland Park?

Certain members of the City Council pushed to purposely use the mail-in ballot because they know that in the history of the county, a “no” vote has never been successful.

Arthur Cameron

Roeland Park Supporting Sebelius

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is drawing severe criticism with regard to the roll out of the Affordable Care Act. She has my sympathy.

I have been programming computers since 1957 (on Univac I). The situation she faces is light years more difficult than any I ever faced. As I have heard about it, programming for the Affordable Care Act staggers the imagination.

Get off her back. She is a very competent person and was an excellent governor here in Kansas.

Wayne Sangster

Prairie Village Unending taxes

One of the very few advantages of old age is the possession of the long view. As an octogenarian, I remember the very first time Missouri imposed a sales tax.

It was in the mid-1930s. The tax was 1 percent.

Missouri issued sales tax tokens, initially made of cardboard, about the size of a milk bottle cap. But who now remembers what a milk bottle cap was?

Anyhow, at that time Kansas City had no sales tax at all. Now, the combined Missouri and Kansas City is 8 1/2 percent, with a proposal to raise it to 9 percent.

That's a big increase, inflation-adjusted, because as prices have risen, so has the amount in taxes Missouri and Kansas City get on every sale. In the depths of the Great Depression, the sales tax was only 1 percent.

Yet government got by. Fortunately, I now live in Kansas, where Gov. Sam Brownback and the Legislature are making significant progress in reducing government bloat and reducing taxes.

If Kansas Citians are willing to give 9 cents on every dollar, go for it. But remember, this isn't the last increase they'll ask for. It never stops.

Lee Levin

Overland Park Sales tax proposal

Where do I start about the proposed Olathe sales tax for streets (10-23, 913, “Olathe seeks sales tax for streets”)? Supporters of the 10-year 3/8-cent sales tax cannot or will not say what the cost is per taxpayer.

Yes, roads take a beating in Kansas. They also take a beating most everywhere else.

So why hasn't Olathe kept up? Perhaps Olathe has not been a good steward of the money the city collect in taxes.

I work in Olathe, and my wife is a teacher in Olathe schools. We have not seen a decent raise for a long time.

In a time when poverty rates are increasing in Johnson County, why should those who are working experience another tax increase?

Finally, this looks like an exercise in creative accounting. Is an additional $9.2 million enough?

What happens then? Does Olathe go back to the taxpayers for another tax?

We taxpayers have to keep our budgets in line, it would be nice to see Olathe do the same.

David W. Anderson

Olathe Capital punishment

I disagree that the death penalty continues to hold an essential function in our society. People have the misconception that murderers are rabid dogs who must be put down to keep their fellow prisoners safe.

Prosecutors want us to believe that the death penalty is only enacted with utmost justice. Neither of these is true.

Life has taught us otherwise. There were only two homicide related deaths during the period of 2001-2011 in Kansas prisons. The Department of Corrections' workers dedicate themselves every day to maintaining order and safety inside our prisons.

The death penalty system in Kansas strong-arms suspects into pleading guilty to life in prison without parole. Eighteen states don't have the death penalty in this country.

They prosecute violent offenders just as effectively as Kansas. Michigan and Wisconsin have been doing so since before the Civil War.

Minnesota has not had a death penalty since 1911, and North Dakota has not had one since 1973. Illinois dropped its death penalty in 2011.

Maybe it is time for the legislators to have a dialog and look at the real facts. The death penalty is too expensive and is not effective.

Barbara Ann Schneider

Overland Park

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