Independence has a good leader at the helm

Ron Finke


To the editor:

I was sorely disappointed when I learned a few weeks ago that after spending a half million dollars and at least two years of study, the Independence City Council voted down electronic meter reading. So I was pleasantly surprised that the council reversed its decision and approved the measure. But then some members waffled because of a small group that seems quite unhappy with technology in general and progress for Independence. Many other utilities have implemented this improvement without fanfare in years past.

With respect to Mayor Eileen Weir, we have no better leader or booster for the best interests of the city. I applaud her dedication and commitment on our behalf. In my opinion, any serious recall effort will only reflect badly on us. 


A helpful tax credit available to caregivers

William Sunderland


To the editor:

The author of your article from Kaiser Health News "Help for the helper: States push for caregiver tax credits" (April 2) named several states (California, Illinois, New York and others) in which their legislature is considering tax credits to help offset the sometimes staggering costs of caring for an elderly individual in the home.

Missouri, however, has had such a tax credit since 2000. An individual taxpayer may claim a non-refundable credit against their Missouri tax liability of up to $500 if the taxpayer cares for an individual age 60 or older who is incapable of living alone, cannot drive and receives no funding or services through Medicaid or social services block-grant funding. The care recipient must live in the same residence as the taxpayer for more than six months of any tax year. The spouse of the taxpayer may be an eligible recipient and is actually the most common claim.

Caregivers must first register with the Division of Senior and Disability Services by calling 1(573)-751-4842. File Form MO-SCC with your current or amended tax return (within the statute of limitations). The form requires a statement from a physician or the Department of Health stating the care recipient's need for home or institutional care.

For more information go to

Missouri's tax credit is not as generous as those proposed in states mentioned in the article, but Missouri requires no proof of expenses, only the registration, physician statement and the statement of the taxpayer.



Let’s save opportunity for future generations

Jim Turner


To the editor:

We need more taxpayers. We have a huge national debt and need things like infrastructure improvements and health care. We need to retain and attract teachers to help our children develop into awesome taxpayers.

I believe higher income taxes are needed to pay down the deficit. Suppose we let the Bush-era tax cuts expire and apply the difference to our nation’s debt. That would slow down the debt clock and potentially reverse it, if the additional tax revenue is earmarked for that purpose only.

Increased sales taxes and utility bills would pave the road to health care available to all and an improved infrastructure. Cutting back our dependence on fossil fuels would help preserve the environment and then help clean the air, water, and soil for future generations.

We should pay sales taxes from online purchases. I don’t see how we can refuse to pay for infrastructure deferred maintenance, either.

If we want the best education for our children in public schools, then we should vote for higher property taxes.

These ideas hit higher income taxpayers to pay down the deficit and provide the best education for future generations. They hit the lower income taxpayers harder, with higher sales taxes and utility bills for infrastructure improvements, health care and greener sources of energy.

If we keep the country out of bankruptcy and clean up the environment, our offspring will have at least the same opportunities that we have now for prosperity and economic growth.