Let’s Set the Story Straight   1 comment

This morning, on a local paper’s website, my ideas (highlighted that word for the writer who obviously missed it when he read my ideas earlier in the week) were attacked. I feel I needed to put a response out. Let me say to Mr. Yael Abouhalkah, we all understand where you stand on the E-tax. As a journalist, you should be at least somewhat unbiased. A great example is the blogger over at the blog of Tony’s Kansas City. Not once did he attack my idea even though he doesn’t agree with me on the E-tax.

Let me address the issue of the privatization of trash which you say won’t create additional revenue. I believe the city of Oceanside Ca. would disagree with you since they just received a 1million dollar signing bonus plus a franchise fee of 1.7 million a year from a private trash company. My real issue with you is that you attacked me on Dec 8th when you said “Of course, Davis also thought it would be feasible to ask people to pay up to $60 million in fees for trash collection. Sorry, not happening”. You didn’t have a problem when the city manager, in his proposed budget, included trash fees in the city budget if we lost the e-tax. So why the attack on me when I said it in November and December?

I also want to address the idea being thrown around, which you are not attacking, about higher property taxes. If we raise property taxes on the resident of Kansas City what is going to happen? You, like me, know that people are going to leave. Why pay more property taxes in a city when I can just move five miles west and receive better roads, schools, and services? It’s time for the leaders of this city to realize that we are no longer the Kansas City of the past and that we are in a competitive fight for the residents and jobs of the metropolitan area. In the past 10 years we have lost half of the students in Kansas City Missouri School District but that also means we have lost citizens of this great city and also tax revenue. If we keep up with the status quo, in 20 years we will go from being the largest city in the metro area, down to the third largest.

Let’s address the effect of the E-tax on the business community. Supporters of the E-tax always talk about the attack on the city services and public safety, but what about the effect on small businesses? Let’s use a small business that grosses $200,000 in revenue. They owe the city $2,000 for the E-tax which, for a small business, can equate to two months of rent and possibly a few hundred dollars to put back in the business. I can move my business to Raytown, Lee’s Summit, Independence, or Johnson County and still service the same clientele and keep my $2,000 in the company. We can look at the proposed $4,000,000 deal Overland Park gave to Polsinelli Shughart to move into Overland Park. Not a bad deal when you look at it this way. Let’s say they make $100 million a year and leave Kansas City tomorrow. In the next 5 years, they would stand to make an extra 9 million dollars with the money from Overland Park and the E-tax in their pocket. Now what CEO is not going to do that?

Is someone going to stand up for the people who pay the E- tax without representation? People who commute from the suburbs contribute to our economy every day; just go to the Power and Light District and the Town Pavilion during lunch. In November, we voted to have a say in the E-tax; but shouldn’t the people who work downtown and live elsewhere have a say? Is it really fair to force someone from Johnson County to pay for indigent care from Truman Medical Center when they don’t use it?

As I close, I will give you the closing remarks from Mr. Abouhalkah’s article: But no one should take earnings tax critics like Davis seriously when they don’t provide substantive ideas on how to replace the e-tax revenue to keep basic city services in KC. I sorely disagree with this point because in April, the voters will decide where we stand on this issue. Whether you agree with Mr. Abouhalkah, and the supports of the E-tax, or with me, against the E-tax, the real question is why are the future leaders playing politics with your city? Ask Mrs Circo, Michael Brown, Scott Taylor, Scott Wagner, and all the other Mayoral and City Council candidates. Tell me, what is your plan if we lose the E-tax? Our city leaders need to be proactive, and not wait for issues to present themselves as they come to the surface. If our leaders do not take initiative, our new reality could be Detroit!

In addition, the population of Oceanside is 173,000 so what is trash contracts in a city of our size worth?

Also here is the article where the info came from: http://www.nctimes.com/news/local/oceanside/article_0149f91b-0488-57d6-9251-10730c0a4d98.html

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Posted February 11, 2011 by mdavis4kc in Uncategorized

One response to “Let’s Set the Story Straight

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  1. You’re right on in your opposition to the e-tax. Before I get too far, the e-tax only taxes profits of businesses, not revenue, but they’re taxed either way. All the current city councilmen and women want to talk about is what it does short term to tax revenue. They never look at the long term effect of chasing so many businesses and residents out of the city. KC has actually had a net loss of jobs over the past 20 years, which is just unbelievable that any city could be that poorly run, but with poor tax structure like the e-tax, that sort of thing can happen. KC’s population growth has lagged far behind the rest of the metro as well despite having such a substantial portion of its limits being suburban in nature. KC has way too much vacant office space that businesses don’t want to occupy despite it being less expensive than surrounding cities. The problem with the e-tax is KC has entered into a vicious cycle where jobs and people have left the city that too few people are left to support a city of KC’s geographic size. KC has some of the best areas to work in the metro and more of the office would be filled if there wasn’t such a disincentive for the 75% of metro residents to not work in KCMO.

    Either way, the vote in April will be close. The Star can rail away at the e-tax opposition, but far too many people hate this tax more than any other and many would rather pay higher sales and property taxes, trash fees, etc. than pay the e-tax.

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