Partly Nonsense

ORIGINALLY WRITTEN
The word is that when the KU Barnstorming Tour comes to town April 21, the Jeff Boschee swoon factor is high and will draw fans from far and wide. I heard that an Anthony teenager and 19 of her friends are coming to see Boschee and his senior teammates take on the Marion County All-stars.

I’ve been watching the Wichita Dynaplex project unfold these past weeks. It amazes me how complicated the process becomes bringing something like this to pass. If it was being built with private money instead of tax money, it would make sense and why would I care.

The proposed extra sales tax to finance it didn’t go over very well with the Wichita car dealers. To placate them, an actual rebate on sales tax paid on a vehicle purchase was proposed that is even below what is charged now.

But this idea caused surrounding area car dealers to protest that the rebate was unfair. It would give the Wichita car dealers a great advantage.

Then the state legislature got involved and proposed to change the method of paying sales tax on a vehicle purchase. The state portion of the tax would be charged at the dealership where the car is purchased and the buyer would pay the balance according to the rate charged in the county where the buyer lives. This would be a good thing for our local dealers, who have been at a disadvantage on sales tax many times because of city/county taxes.

If dealers only have to charge the state portion of the tax, then all dealers are on a level playing field-which is fair. The balance of the tax then depends upon the rate the city/county you live in charges.

Think of what the state idea does to our county, though. Since I would bet many more cars purchased in Hillsboro are from buyers who live outside the county, Marion County and Hillsboro would stand to be the big tax-collection losers.

A stroke of the pen can have a big impact on things. Free enterprise is free enterprise until governments change the rules.

Another stroke of the pen in the late ’80s by our state legislature caused a major problem for business districts in rural communities. I am referring to the largest tax shift in state history-when inventory was dropped from the tax rolls and assessed values on business and commercial real estate was raised from 12 percent to 30 percent of fair market value. The Boeings came out great, but the mom-and-pops didn’t.

Since it was passed, the rate has been reduced from 30 percent to 25 percent, but it is too little, too late, for many small businesses.

Like the guy once said, “I’d give my right arm to be ambidextrous.”

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