Sales tax revenue needed for services

Two decades ago, Independence began using sales tax as a way to support basic city services.

We now have sales taxes that support police, fire, parks, storm water and streets. Voters consistently approved and renewed these issues in citywide votes.

The approach tapped our strong retail sector, avoided property tax increases and provided a solid way to support basic city services.

And it has worked.

The sales tax revenue has been fundamental to improving the quality of life in Independence.

Many of us will remember the sad condition or sorry state of our parks, police and fire departments and the positive changes we’ve seen with the support of the voter-approved sales taxes.

On April 3, voters have a chance to fix an outdated tax law to make Independence retail businesses more competitive and prevent the loss of sales tax revenue for public services.

Both Independence and Blue Springs are asking voters to approve the use tax and join more than 100 Missouri cities that have already done so.

If you supported adoption or renewal of the police, fire, streets, parks or storm water sales tax issues – each of which enjoyed strong public support – you could continue that support by voting “yes” on Question 1.

Brent Schondelmeyer, Independence

 

Local businesses deserve fairness

I support the passage of the use tax. Here's why: A use tax applies only to online sales, something our sales tax can't do.

Sales and use taxes will not and cannot be applied at the same time. Shoppers would still pay 2.25 percent sales tax (Independence's rate) at local retailers or pay 2.25 percent use tax on purchases made online to out-of-state businesses with a physical presence in Missouri (Target, Amazon, Walmart, etc.)

This essentially gives our friends and neighbors who own and manage businesses here in our town a level playing field. They live and work with us, and their children go to the same schools as yours and mine. It's not fair if an out of town business can undercut prices for products our friends are selling.

I enjoy competition as much as anybody, but fair competition is even better!

Jim Schultz, Independence, former city council member

 

DeLuccie, Medley for City Council

Because I am a former council member and mayor, I am frequently asked whom I will vote for in Independence City Council elections. I hereby share my recommendations for the April 3 election.

I have researched the candidates, their supporters, and their qualifications, and will be enthusiastically voting for Karen DeLuccie and will also be writing in Matt Medley’s name and filling in the box next to it.

Karen has done a great job as council member at-large, and she deserves re-election. Matt Medley, though a newcomer to city politics, is a local business owner, who is an honest and ethical write-in candidate.

Our mayor’s first term is up now, but she has done such a good job, she is unopposed, but would appreciate your vote.

Barbara J. Potts, Independence

 

Unclear ballot language hurts

I have never sent a letter to the paper before, but the upcoming special election on April 3 prompts me to respond. I wonder what cost for the taxpayers for this vote? I would bet the turnout will be all of 10 percent, if that.

My wife and I, both with advanced degrees, read the question several times and it was very confusing. We would love for someone to clarify what we are voting on. Would it not be easier to understand if the question was, “Should the city of Blue Springs collect sales tax on items purchased online,” yes or no! Wonder what the vote would be?

Could this question have been added to the next election for a larger turnout with less cost?

Dave Korotev, Blue Springs

 

A chance to move our city forward

I urge my fellow citizens in Independence to vote in the election on April 3. Much is at stake for our community! We can proceed forward or take some major steps backwards.

Vote yes for Question 1. Write in Matt Medley for council member at-large. We need young people on our City Council who have been active in our community and a business background. Vote to re-elect Karen DeLuccie! She is a hard worker, a good listener and has integrity. She deserves re-election.

Let’s keep Independence growing, attracting job growth, increasing income, keeping our citizens safe and continuing to polish the great image of our city.

Blake Roberson, Independence

 

Best choices are Medley, DeLuccie

The city of Independence will hold an election April 3 to basically confirm Eileen Weir as Mayor for a second term in office – since she has no opposition. In addition a council at-large position will need to be filled since Chris Whiting is stepping down after two terms. The other Council-At-Large position is also on the ballot. Both positions appear to be up for grabs since several candidates have filed for the two positions.

Those who have filed for the two positions are Karen DeLuccie, the incumbent, Brice Stewart, who has filed for just about everything come election time, Mike Huff, a political newcomer and retired city of Independence employee and Matt Medley, another newcomer to politics, who is running as a write-in candidate.

Karen DeLuccie is the incumbent, and voters should retain her in office. She is a longtime practicing attorney in Independence and knows the community quite well. She has been very active in the community, understands the city of Independence and its needs and will continue to be a strong force and voice for all our citizens. She needs our support to keep Independence moving forward.

Matt Medley is a newcomer to elective politics but not a newcomer, per se, to the city of Independence. Matt’s wife has a dental practice in Independence and Matt, with other partners, has purchased the Emporium Building on the Square and is preparing to open a “craft brewery” business. Matt and his wife have three children in the Fort Osage School District.

Matt has become an active participant in the community in several respects. One, he joined the Santa-Cali-Gon steering committee to move that activity forward, second, he is currently in the LEAD Class – a leadership development program, third, is currently serving on the Downtown Redevelopment Committee and fourth, the Independence Square Association Board.

Obviously Matt Medley is a community-minded individual and would become a strong member of the Independence City Council. But to do so, he will need the voters support as a write-in candidate.

This requires that his name be written in the “write-in” portion of the ballot and spelled correctly. Also the circle/square needs to be checked/filled in as well.

Marvin Sands, Independence