Where do you buy your toilet paper?
What if everyone in Marion County made a commitment to buy all of our toilet paper locally?
I recently read about that kind of challenge given to the 15,000 citizens of Franklin County, Iowa, by their local Chamber of Commerce. They called it, “Buy One Product Local,” and were featured on local TV. (buyoneproductlocal.com/)
Somehow they figured out the average person uses 105 rolls of TP a year, costing an average of $1.25 per roll. That one product adds up to almost $2 million in annual sales.
Of course not everyone bought their toilet paper locally. They estimated the actual amount spent was about $335,800, which means the citizens of Franklin County lost out on about $1.6 million a year in sales.
In the end, they gave their neighboring counties some $114,187 in sales tax, which Franklin County could have really used. By the way, I think we can buy toilet paper cheaper in Kansas, but the point is well taken.
Regardless of where we shop we will pay sales tax. However, when we shop in Marion County, the sales tax collected pays for public services, roads and bridges in our county.
Furthermore, money spent at home tends to stay at home as local business owners use the income to pay their employees and utility bills, do their own shopping and generally support the community as a whole.
We all need things from time to time that you just can’t find in Marion County. But if toilet paper can have such a big impact, what would happen if we all went one step further and decided to buy the things that are available to us at home?
According to Economic and Social Research Institute, Marion County has a $93 million demand for goods and services with only $44 million being purchased locally. To capture even half of the $49 million gap would be astounding. The additional sales tax coming to our county, instead of going somewhere else, would surpass $1.5 million per year. I wonder what we could do with that kind of windfall?
Through the years our family has lived in several large cities and we never gave a second thought to where we shopped. But after moving back to a rural community, we are learning to see the importance of buying locally whenever we can.
Clint Seibel, exec. director
Hillsboro Development Corp.
Kansas should accept federal dollars
What would you do? The Kansas Legislature and specifically the governor will be making the decision about the quality of life for 121,000 Kansans.
More than 2,700 Kansans have already signed a petition pleading with the Legislature and governor to accept the federal dollars in 2014 to expand access to Medicaid (KanCare), which will cover Kansans and their families.
At this time, Kansas’s eligibility for Medicaid (KanCare) is one of the lowest in the country—nearly 32 percent of the federal poverty level, which is less than $6,000 a year for a family of four.
Kansas can raise the Medicaid eligibility edge to 138 percent of the federal poverty level—$31,000 a year for a family of four—if it will agree to accept the funds. The first three years are covered by the federal government at 100 percent, and it will gradually reduce to 90 percent coverage over time.
This means we can cover more than 121,000 additional people in need with no direct cost to you, the taxpayer, now and at a 10 percent max in the future. Now, when these uninsured or underinsured are in need of medical assistance, you are helping to pay the costs.
This is purely a partisan effort to stand ground against the efforts of our current president, who wants to make sure everyone is provided quality health care at an affordable price.
The acceptance of these Medicaid dollars would bring more health-care related jobs to Kansas, support rural hospitals and improve the health and financial security of hard-working Kansans. It is not only the right thing to do, it is the only decision which makes sense.
Push hard on your representative in the House to vote “no” on HCR5013 so Kansas can do the right thing for its citizens.
Shelley Dunham, Council Grove
Louise Smith, Hesston