Tax fairness, Chiefs, tow trucks

01/15/2014 6:19 PM

01/15/2014 6:19 PM

Tax fairness needed

A radio interview of Sen. Brad Lager was broadcast recently. The senator rightfully thinks government shouldn’t be in the business of picking “winners and losers.” I contend the current Missouri sales tax does just that.

If I buy a piece of farm equipment, the purchase is exempt from Missouri sales tax. In fact, most items necessary to the operation of a farm business are sales tax exempt. Our grocery store recently installed new coolers for storage and the display of perishable food. The owner assured me he had to pay sales tax on the new coolers.

How is a corn planter more deserving of tax exemption than grocery store coolers? Why should a hay rake be sales tax exempt but the purchase of a restaurant cook stove be taxable?

It would appear the importance of the equipment to the operation of the business is not a consideration for exemption.

Is this not government picking of winners and losers? Is this not an example of unfair taxation?

As an exercise in thinking, how about a half-percent levy on all commercial transactions. No exemptions. Your $100 grocery bill with sales tax would be $100.50, not the current $104.23. Talking to your lawyer at $100 per hour would cost an extra 50 cents. A $300,000 combine would increase $1,500.

If fairness in the tax code is truly Sen. Lager’s goal and not just a political smoke screen, then the subject warrants open discussion.

Stanley Robinson

Princeton, Mo. Cheering the Chiefs

Yes, it’s easy to be disappointed by the Kansas City Chiefs’ loss to the Colts in the playoff game, and, yes, it’s easy to strike out and put the blame on kickers, defensive backs, coaches and even Mr. Clark Hunt himself. But, c’mon folks. We went from a laughingstock to a winner. All the Chiefs, the coaches and Mr. Clark Hunt himself deserve and have earned my praises for bringing Kansas City and the surrounding area a real contender.

I’m proud of what they did this year, and I look forward to next season. Get real, you complainers.

Roger Goodloe

Richmond, Mo. Faux tea party

I’m a 70-year-old progressive, and I want to object to the bogus misappropriation of the label “tea party.”

Several times in the past few years, I have laughed at its members’ ridiculous appearances on the Fourth of July and during elections. Despite their tri-cornered hats and knee breeches, they fail to capture any hint of the spirit of the American Revolution.

The Boston Tea Party was a revolt against a tax imposed on the colonies by the British without any consultation with those upon whom the tax fell and from which the colonies got little, if any, benefit.

The tea partiers went disguised as Indians. When the Revolutionary War came, our forefathers readily risked all, including their lives, for self-government.

When the war ended and we had gained our independence through the sacrifices of that first generation of American citizens, at least two of our Founding Fathers went on to be instrumental in the establishment of public (ergo, tax-supported) universities: Thomas Jefferson, the University of Virginia, and Benjamin Franklin, the University of Pennsylvania.

They appreciated the value of public education and government investing in its citizens.

John Van Horn

Kansas City Drug-test officials

Kansas lawmakers who fail drug tests will not be penalized and their names will not be made public, but welfare recipients will lose their benefits unless they receive treatment.

This illustrates very well what is wrong with our governments. Different sets of standards apply to poor people versus the ruling class.

Oligarchy has replaced democracy.

Corky Lewis

Lee’s Summit Tow truck lights

Are there any regulations for lights on tow trucks? I saw one this week with a rack on top as bright as the lights on a police car.

The driver in front did not know whether to pull over. Even a police car that was driving the other way slowed down to look.

Tow trucks should not be using similar lights to the police, fire or ambulance responders and should not be lit if they are not hauling anything.

Elizabeth McKie

Independence KCI ambassadors

I have been an active volunteer member for almost 10 years of the Kansas City International Airport Ambassadors team, which has existed for many years. We are an organization of volunteers sponsored by the Aviation Department for the purpose of helping travelers with questions or problems and providing good will for our city.

We are usually on duty during morning and afternoon shifts every weekday and some weekends. We enjoy greeting passengers and helping them in any way we can. You can usually spot us as we walk through the terminals wearing bright red blazers or red polo shirts. A single help desk would be impractical because of the design of the present terminals.

Larry Lillge

Kansas City Tarnishing America

In light of the ongoing events uncovered about the National Security Agency scandals, I continue to worry. What has happened to our country? America used to be a world power, and people in some countries thought our country’s democracy was amazing.

Even though we have had some faults, at least we weren’t as corrupt as some. I feel as if the NSA has altered the good viewpoint and solidified the bad.

The NSA has spied on our allies, and now our allies are framing an international treaty that would put limits on spying overseas. The NSA has shown that we are spying on Americans, including Facebook and emails.

Allowing the NSA to spy on allies and Americans has tarnished our nation’s reputation and could affect our country’s ability to protect its citizens, which is what the NSA was created to do.

Spying on allies and their people corrupts.

Maggie Klinke

Kansas City End biased reporting

The coverage by the media given to the Internal Revenue Service scandal, Benghazi, the National Security Agency, and the presidential appointments given during one so-called “congressional recess” is minuscule compared to the coverage given New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.

All deserve scrutiny, but the media have again made it clear that the public can expect their continued bias. Give us the opportunity to make judgments based on unbiased reporting.

Rose Soptic

Roeland Park Running red lights

In 1984, I entered an intersection on a yellow light and was cited by the Kansas City Police Department. The ticket was for running a red light.

I said that the light was yellow. The officer informed me that the light changed to red after I entered the intersection and that a yellow light means that the light is about to change to red and it should be treated as a red light.

He said the yellow light is meant to allow motorists who had entered the intersection on a green light, time to clear the intersection before the light for the cross traffic turns green. With all the uproar about the current red light camera system, it seems to me that much of the problem is a result of drivers doing as I did in 1984.

A yellow light does not mean speed up to beat the red light. If drivers would simply follow the law there would be no uproar about getting a ticket at a red light controlled intersection.

Red light cameras are not the problem. How drivers choose to drive is.

Gary Miller

Independence R. Crosby Kemper Jr.

Twelve years ago, my mom was visiting me from Cleveland. We were at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art’s Rozzelle Court restaurant. Mr. R.Crosby Kemper Jr. was having lunch, and he spotted me.

He knows me only visually from my seat in the Kansas City Symphony, but he took time to greet us and chat. Mom and I were

touched at this simple and thoughtful gesture. Kansas City thrived and soared artistically through Mr. Kemper’s spirit. I imagine that Mom and Crosby are avidly discussing Kansas City arts right now.

Susan Goldenberg

Violinist

Kansas City Symphony

Kansas City

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