Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Want another sales tax?

Struggling with rising costs for the Sedgwick County Jail and the new aviation training center at the Jabara Airport, county commissioners debated this morning whether a sales tax could solve their debt problems.

The Hall Monitor knows what you're thinking: We already have a 1 cent sales tax and it's for the downtown arena. True enough, but that sales tax ends Dec. 31, 2007. Commissioner Tim Norton wondered if the county could simply start another sales tax after that.

"I don't think people want to hear about a property tax increase," Norton said. "We either wait for the Legislature to allow us to impose sales taxes on our own or we wait for the arena sales tax to end. That could pay for a whole lot of public safety."

Norton likened a sales tax to paying cash out of your wallet.

"At least the pain is over in 30 months," he said. "It's like digging into your pocket and saying, 'Let's pay cash instead of putting it on a credit card.'"

Commissioner Gwen Welshimer shook her head at Norton's suggestion. "I think we should cut down on things that aren't mandated (by the state)."

She suggested downsizing costs for museums, minority businesses and consultants.

"A sales tax is the lesser of two evils," she conceded. "If you don't want to spend it, don't buy it. At least there's a choice."


justin said...

People are already worried that the arena tax will not end in December 2007. If they make another tax to take the arena tax place, people will just say "told you so" and think the arena tax never ended.

Marc said...

I totally agree. We fought like hell to get the arena tax passed. I can't understand why every time we ask the citizens to trust us we give them a new reason not to.

Anonymous said...

We told you so!

Anonymous said...

I believe that sales tax is the fairest tax as long as you exempt food and health care. However, if we add/keep the 1% we are approaching a level charged in states that do not have an income tax. Get rid of state income tax and then start living within your means like we taxpayers must.

Anonymous said...

It never fails. Once a government issues a tax they don't want to get rid of it. How about this. Just get a lot of the prisoners out of the jails. We don't need to be housing people who are jailed for smoking pot or other harmless "crimes". Or perhaps we could reverse Sue Schlapp's land deal that cost the Wichita taxpayers $2.1 million and use that to pay for the Aviation Center.


Anonymous said...

The County told legislators the tax would end. Even Mike Pepoon isn't silly enough to try to go to the legislature and extend it! Dead on arrival.

Anonymous said...

Commissioner Gwen Welshimer shook her head at Norton's suggestion. "I think we should cut down on things that aren't mandated (by the state)."

AMEN! Less Tax, more accountability!

Anonymous said...

Don't underestimate Pepoon. He went to K-State. He could do it.