The first week of the session has come and gone. The governor gave his speech and set out what he believes are Kansas? priorities: our kids, strong business opportunities, and taking care of those who cannot help themselves.
In his speech, the governor spoke of the already-devastating cuts to those in need?the disabled, children?s programs, the mentally ill and those in nursing homes. He also stated he believes that to maintain our core priorities we will have to raise taxes.
Specifically, Gov. Parkinson targeted sales tax and the tax on cigarettes. He proposes to add a 1 percent sales tax increase for three years and raise the tax on cigarettes to the national average.
What are your opinions on that? I don?t see the legislature adding 1 percent to our sales tax. But I also have difficulty with cutting assistance for the disabled or those on Medicaid.
I have heard talk of a sales tax increase of less than 1 percent. Would you be OK with 0.5 percent? That would be 1 cent of tax on a $2 purchase, $1 of tax on a $200 purchase. Please contact me on this one.
The petroleum marketers and convenience-store owners have brought us a bill that will come to a vote this session. It proposes to permit strong beer (more than 3.2 percent alcohol) to be sold in convenience stores and not be limited to sales through liquor stores. The convenience and petroleum marketing group contend it will promote competition for beer sales.
I want your input: Is this good for Kansas and is it good for the 70th District? Will it promote stability? Healthy competition? Will it make it easier or harder to control improper sales? Will it bring in more businesses and good-paying jobs in our area? Will it knock the local companies out of business? Will it mean absolutely nothing to the folks of the 70th District?
You may e-mail me at: Brookens70@sbcglobal.net or write me at either 201 Meadow Lane, Marion, KS 66861 or Kansas State Capitol Building, 300 SW 10th, Topeka, KS 66612. You may also call me at 620-382-2133 or 785-296-7699.