Letters (Jan. 13, 2010)

Grateful for response of fire volunteers


We would like to thank the emergency services of Hillsboro for their immediate response to the fire on our street Wednesday evening, as well as to our friends and neighbors who kept us warm and safe.

We truly believe the fire department personnel of Hills?boro saved our home and many of the belongings of our neighbors. We cannot emphasize enough the extreme gratitude we have for all those who responded that evening. Thank you.

Dennis and Tracy Boldt



Annual listening tour strengthens resolve


I recently completed my 13th-annual Big First Listening Tour, ?From Washington to Home,? holding town hall meetings in each of the 69 counties in the First Congressional District.

I appreciated meeting with all those who took time out of their day to share their ideas and concerns with me. As a representative for our state, it is essential that I understand the issues that concern Kansans. My annual listening tour helps me accomplish this goal.

My efforts in Washington, D.C., remain much the same today as they were when I was first elected?to see that we have prosperity in the communities we call home.

This has become more difficult as President Obama pursues a big-government strategy, represented by bailouts, stimulus packages, cap-and-trade legislation, government intervention in health care, Cash for Clunkers and financial re-regulation.

I have voted against each of these damaging proposals because they threaten our way of life in Kansas and make it more difficult to leave things better for the next generation. I have heard Kansans? concerns about these issues and will make sure those in our nation?s capital understand them as well.

If there were any issues that we did not get to discuss or if you were unable to attend, please contact me through my Web site at jerrymoran.house.gov.

Based upon what I heard from Kansans at each town hall meeting, I will return to Washington, D.C., committed fully to fighting for what I believe is right for America.

Rep. Jerry Moran

Washington, D.C.


Contact legislators about pipeline error


Today is the first day of the 2010 Kansas Legislative session. For the citizens of Washington, Clay, Dickinson, Marion, Butler and Cowley counties this could well be one of the most important legislative sessions in recent history.

In 2006, the legislature passed a law, KSA 79-227, that granted Keystone/TransCanada pipeline an exemption from local property taxes in the six counties it passes through.

The construction of the pipeline will happen in 2010 and the counties in the pipeline corridor will lose out on tax revenue amounting to $8.5 million each year for 10 years, according to the Salina Journal.

In addition to the property tax exemption, Keystone/Trans?Canada signed a contract with the Kansas Department of Commerce in June 2009 for $55.49 million in tax credits. The legislators did not inform the counties in 2006 that they were giving away their taxing ability.

The legislation in 2006 that exempted the property tax is unfair to the counties and may have been a mistake on the part of the legislators, and it can be corrected. A bill can be introduced to rescind the parts of KSA 79-227 that grant the property tax exemption.

Bad laws can be and need to be corrected. No other state north of Kansas has granted the pipeline a property tax exemption, so there should be no expectation of such treatment in Kansas.

The state of Kansas has been very generous with the $55.49 million tax credit. In these tight economic times, Keystone/Trans?Canada should not expect more.

The process of correcting KSA 79-227 may be difficult for some legislators to engage in, particularly those who may have received support from Keystone/TransCanada.

It is important that the citizens of Washington, Clay, Dickinson, Marion, Butler and Cowley counties contact their state representatives and state senators and make them aware of the need to address this issue.

Next Tuesday, Jan. 19, is County Government Day at the Capitol in Topeka and it will bring home the importance of this issue if our representatives see and hear county officials and citizens in the halls.

The property taxes in question will have an impact on every county government, school district, public hospital and municipality in the six counties.

The ability to address concerns and expect results from elected officials is a basic tenet of our representative democracy. We need to unite in our efforts to demand a correction of this unfair legislative action.

Harry E. Bennett


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