LETTERS: Community banks at odds with Steffes

This past Friday, Republican voters of the 35th State Senate District received an oversized postcard from the “Steffes for Senate” campaign. This postcard changed the upcoming primary from a campaign between Don Steffes and Jay Emler to the ongoing campaign of Don Steffes against Kansas community banks and bankers.

Yes, we are at odds with Sen. Steffes. He has pursued his longheld belief that small community banks are inferior to large, out-of-state banking conglomerates. His legislative agenda is attempting to disadvantage locally owned independent banks in order to force the consolidation he desires. As a result, he grossly misrepresents banking issues.

Sen. Steffes again misrepresents the tax issue. Kansas banks were paying a higher rate of state taxes through the Bank Privilege Tax. In 1998, when the Kansas Legislature cut taxes by $247 million, Kansas banks asked to have the Bank Privilege Tax lowered to a level playing field. The legislature saw fit to do so.

He has proposed legislation to inhibit state-chartered banks from the ability to compete with larger nationally chartered banks by removal and/or curtailment of the State Bank Commissioners’ “wild card powers.”

He has proposed legislation that would allow millions of Kansas taxpayer dollars to flow out of the state to be used to make loans in other states. This would decrease the funds available for loans in Kansas.

He proposed legislation that would have allowed a person totally unfamiliar with Kansas, its banks, farms and economy to become the state bank commissioner. The wrong bank commissioner would accelerate the demise of the smaller community bank.

Do you really believe Don Steffes is working for you when he has his own agenda and the only person he likes to listen to is himself?

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