Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Hawver: Higher Kansas Income Taxes in 2018

by Martin Hawver


Hope you had a good time this year coming up with an additional $591 million in Kansas individual income tax, the income tax increase lawmakers approved over the veto of Gov. Sam Brownback back in June.
Martin Hawver

That income tax increase we’ll be mailing into the state on April 17—the deadline for the current tax year—was, remember, just a stutter-step, in which the full income tax increase was trimmed just a bit below the rates you’ll pay for the year starting Jan. 1.
That stutter-step? Well, the three brackets (up from the two brackets of the discarded Brownback tax plan of 2012) for marrieds-filing-jointly are:
  • With $30,000 or less in taxable income, 2.9% for this tax year and 3.10% for the tax year 2018.
  • With $30,000 to $60,000, 4.9% for the current tax year and 5.25% for tax year 2018.
  • With more than $60,000, 5.2% for this tax year and 5.7% for the tax year 2018 and after.
Yes, that second year, which starts just after you’ve downed the New Year’s Eve toast and officially stepped into 2018, sees rate increases that are predicted to boost this year’s $591 million in tax revenue to $633 million.
Now, the nice thing about New Year’s Eve parties is that nobody, except probably accountants, are doing much in the way of calculation. Just having a good time.
But that party where we celebrate the tax increases being over probably isn’t going to last, largely because the Kansas Supreme Court tossed out as unconstitutional this year’s new school finance bill, ruling that it doesn’t send enough money to public K-12 schools to guarantee schoolchildren from border to border access to a good education at roughly the same expenditure per pupil.
The court didn’t put a pricetag on just what it will cost to meet that adequate standard on school finance, but few wandering the Statehouse corridors are expecting a pricetag of less than $400 million to $600 million. The real issue appears to be whether the Legislature can boost that funding in just one year, or whether the court will approve a maybe two-year phase in of that additional money which the state doesn’t have…
Which, of course, opens that Pandora’s box of just where the money would come from, or, more politically accurately, from whom that money would come.
There are those among us whose scalps can reflect sunlight glare into others’ eyes who believe that those folks who pay for haircuts probably aren’t paying enough. Or those who wonder why farmers don’t pay sales tax on those giant air-conditioned tractors they buy. Or why tax accountants can’t figure how to collect sales tax on their work product.
Now, of course, the state could cut spending on nearly everything else to free up money for a boost to schools, but then what do you want to cut? Not many pretty choices there, are there…
But there are some new numbers for potential tax increases to boost revenues, and they become part of the discussion to raise more money.
Interested in a little more income tax? Raising the rates that will be in effect on Jan. 1 (3.10 percent, 5.25 percent, and 5.70 percent) by .75 percent (to 3.85 percent, 6 percent and 6.45 percent) would likely raise about $613 million.
That simple? Well, the mathematics are simple, but running for re-election after two years of income tax increases? Pretty tough.
Raising the sales tax? Well, you can do the math if a .1 percent increase—from 6.5 percent to 6.6 percent raises about $46 million—just pencil out how much you want…
Something to think about at that New Year’s Eve party…
Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver's Capitol Report—to learn more about this nonpartisan statewide political news service, visit the website at www.hawvernews.com

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Chain Migration: Burdensome and Obsolete

Newswire


Washington, D.C. - An analysis by the Center for Immigration Studies examines chain migration and the immigration background of the Port Authority bomber.  Akayed Ullah, a lawful permanent resident, is a citizen of Bangladesh who came to the United States in February 2011 on an immigrant visa in one of the chain migration categories. Ullah qualified to enter at age 20 as the nephew of a naturalized U.S. citizen. The relative who sponsored Ullah and his family reportedly entered originally under the visa lottery and became a U.S. citizen.
Highlights on immigration to the U.S. from Bangladesh:
  • Approximately 90 percent of the immigrants from Bangladesh in the last decade have received green cards through sponsorship by a relative who immigrated earlier;
  • The number of immigrant visas issued to Bangladeshis was about 6,000 in 2000, but today is about 12,000 in 2017, illustrating the multiplier effect of chain migration.
  • There are more than 175,000 citizens of Bangladesh on the immigrant visa waiting list, of whom just over 165,000 (94 percent) are waiting in the sibling/nephew/niece category; 
  • For many years citizens of Bangladesh were leading participants in the annual Visa Lottery.  In 2007, 36% of the immigrant visas issued in Bangladesh were under the lottery.  By 2012, Bangladesh was disqualified based on high annual numbers of green cards awarded. 
  • In 2017, 99% of the more than 12,000 immigrant visas awarded to Bangladeshis were family-based.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Area Happenings - Week of December 10

Here are the upcoming events that the Gazette has been made aware of as of  December 9, 2017.  To submit an item to the community events calendar, please email it to press@baldwingazette.com.

 December 10, 2017
Army Reserve Band
3 P.M.
Rice Auditorium


December 19, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

December 29, 2017

COME AND ENJOY OUR
COMMUNITY DINNER  & FELLOWSHIP
          TO BE HELD  AT 6:00  to?


HOST
VINLAND UNITED CHURCH
1724 N 692 RD
BALDWIN CITY, KS 6600


January 2, 2018

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.



January 16, 2018

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.


Third Friday Art Walk and Farmers Market

Downtown Baldwin City





Every 4th Thursday of the Month
10 A.M. - 11 A.M.
Mobile Food Bank
Baldwin City New Life Assembly of God
118 5th St  Baldwin City, KS
Stay in car, line up and drive through



Every Tuesday through October  
Eudora Local Gardening Farmer’s Market
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm Tuesdays
through October 2016
1402 Church Street
Eudora, KS.
In the parking lot of Gene’s Hartland Foods.
Local, fresh produce and foods offered by local growers and producers!


Every Wednesday through October
De Soto Farmer’s Market (Fresh Promise’s Market)
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Wednesdays through October 2016
at The Barn at Kill Creek Farm
9200 Kill Creek Road
De Soto, KS
Local, fresh produce and foods offered by local growers and producers!


Every Thursday through October 
Cottin's Hardware Farmer's Market on Thursdays from
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
through September
at Cottin's Hardware & Rental back parking lot
1832 Massachusetts Street
Lawrence, KS
Local vendors offer a variety of goods including produce, baked items, hot foods, meats, eggs, soaps, jams, jellies, herbs, fudge and much more!;


Every Friday through October
Perry Lecompton Farmers' Market
Fridays from 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
at Bernie's parking lot
24 Hwy and Ferguson Road
Perry, KS
Visit the market to find fresh vegetables, fruits, homemade jams and jellies, baked goods, honey, fresh cut flowers, farm fresh eggs, handmade crafts and more!


Baldwin Council Tables Mayoral Appointments

Kevin Surbaugh 


The regular December 5 (2107) meeting of the Baldwin City Council was called to order by Marilyn Pearse. After removing the previous meetings minutes from the consent agenda, because they failed to be included in the council packet, so the members of the council could not review them, the council, approved the consent agenda, which included tobacco license renewals for Baldwin City Market, Kwik Shop, and Payless Tobacco. The missing minutes will be added to the consent agenda of the next council meeting.

Baldwin City resident and former council-member, Ken Hayes, made a special presentation to the council requesting a 75% reduction in fees/building permits.  Currently, Baldwin City permits and fees are $4,185.  When it comes to connecting utilities the city does not charge for the labor, the city does incur labor costs. However, outside of labor would total at less than $2,000.

According to Hayes,
"We are currently down to eighteen lots to build on. At current rates the city has twenty months until these lots are exhausted."
Another presentation came from the Jeanette Blackmar, Baldwin City Chamber of Commerce Director,  in regards to the success of the recent Festival of Lights. Blackmar reported to the Council that after five months of planning, they had three community partners, eleven participating organizations, fourteen floats. Steve Friend,  Baldwin City Recreation Commission, who will be retiring in June, was honored as the Grand Marshal of the parade. Blackmar continued, by telling the council that there was about 800 people that attended this years parade and 500 riders on Midland Railway's  Santa Clause Express. The event raised about $450 for the Baldwin City Recreation Commission and Community Emergency Fund.

The council then moved into old business, and began discussing Charter Ordinance 27, regarding mayoral appointments of a city treasurer, city attorney, municiple judge and such others other officers as may be deemed necessary for best interest of the city.
A discussion ensued about other positions that could be appointed per the state statute.  The city has exempted itself, Council-Member A. J. Stevens, said, from several of those positions.  He continued by saying,  that it appears that full-time positions are exempted while part-time positions are not. Mayor Pearse explained, that those positions are hired, like the city administrator and police chief were hired positions and not appointed.
Stevens made a motion to table any decision until the next meeting. With Council-Member David Simmons seconding the council approved on a vote of 3-2 to table further discussions. With Council-Members Kathy Gerstner and Tony Brown casting the dissenting votes. A related item the council also tabled any decision on ordinance 1380 to change the dates of approving such appointments, by new incoming mayors to the second meeting of January. The vote fell on the same 3-2 split.
In other business the council:
  • Unanimously approved the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP).
  • Unanimously approved an agreement with Douglas County for housing Baldwin City inmates.
  • Unanimously approved a contract with Eaton Corporation to update the Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition (SCADA) system at the power plant for $66,005.
  • Learned that City Attorney Matt Hoy will resign and his last meeting will be the final meeting of 2017. 

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Baker University to Add Two New Varsity Sports


Press Release: Tyler Price, Assistant Director of Athletics | Communications Baker University


BALDWIN CITY, Kansas – The Baker University athletics department is excited to announce the creation of two new varsity sports starting in the fall of 2018.

Baker will increase its varsity sports to 22 with the addition of women's wrestling and men's bowling programs.

The men's and women's wrestling programs will be led by current head wrestling coach Cody Garcia and his staff, while the men's and women's bowling programs will be continually led by head coach Cheryl Keslar.

"The opportunity for Coach Garcia to start our women's wrestling program is something we are excited about," said Baker Director of Athletics, Nate Houser. "We know he will take his success that he has already garnered for us on and off the mat and mold that same success into both of our programs."

Garcia is currently in his third year as the head men's wrestling coach at Baker and has produced two NAIA National Champions in his tenure with the 'Cats.

Baker previously sported a men's bowling program from 1963 until 1982. 2018 will mark the first time a collegiate bowler has competed for the BU men's bowling program in 36 years.

"It's very exciting to restart men's bowling," said Houser. "To have Coach Keslar move into a full-time position and become a bigger part of our athletic department will be a benefit to everyone. We look forward to growing her continued passion and success."

The sport of women's wrestling is an emerging sport within the NAIA. It currently isn't recognized as a varsity NAIA sport, as men's wrestling currently stands.

The Baker women's wrestling program will compete against fellow NAIA programs as well as NCAA institutions under the Women's Collegiate Wrestling Association (WCWA) umbrella.

"It is an honor to continue to lead the growth and impact of Baker Wrestling with the addition of the women's program," said Garcia. "As exciting as it is to see the surge of so many programs recently, I am even more encouraged and thankful to see it happening at a school that believes in the vision of the program, recognizes its value, and that understands the resources needed to develop champions. Our purpose, our brand, and the sport shouldn't be limited when the need is there for everyone to benefit from it." 

The wrestling team will compete inside the Collins Center on the Baldwin City campus and will practice in the wrestling room inside Mabee Hall.

"Women's wrestling at Baker University will serve as a tremendous opportunity for passionate student-athletes to chase their bold aspirations in an environment that cultivates and strengthens those expectations. This program will look to immediately align and match the prestige and standard of success associated with Baker University. We believe we can create an elite training center for high caliber wrestlers and prepare them for success on the mat as they first represent us in Baker orange in hopes of one-day donning the red, white, and blue. More importantly, though we can prepare them for their greater impact beyond the mats as they move on to the next phase in their lives."

The men's bowling team will compete alongside the women's program in its training facility at Royal Crest Lanes in Lawrence, Kansas.

Similar to women's bowling, men's bowling is an emerging NAIA sport and will compete in the same tournaments as the women's program. Keslar is in her seventh season leading the Wildcats.

"This is an exciting time for Baker Athletics!" said Keslar. "We have been waiting for this day and we couldn't be more thrilled to announce the creation of a men's bowling program!"


Tuesday, December 5, 2017

At the Rail - Good News or is it?

Martin Hawver

There are times that news is good…but so little good that it really isn’t worth even Tweeting your friends about.
And that’s what happened last week when the Kansas Department of Revenue announced that the state took in $458 million in tax revenue for the month of November—$8.3 million more than predicted. That’s about 1.85% more than revenue experts had envisioned; if you left a 1.85% tip at the coffee shop, you’d never get a refill, would you?
So, good news, but really not worth crowding out those cats wearing red holiday hats on your friends’ phones.
Yet, for state government, it’s a start, and that’s $8.3 million that the state didn’t expect to have.
The issue is that the November windfall and another $108 million in additional revenue predicted for this fiscal year by the state’s Consensus Revenue Estimating Group of budget and economic experts still likely aren’t enough to constitutionally finance the state’s aid to public K-12 schools.
Remember, the Kansas Supreme Court has ruled that the new school finance formula passed by lawmakers last spring didn’t meet constitutional requirements to make sure that there is “adequate” revenue to schools to provide each child across the state access to a good education.
The court didn’t say how much more money the state needs to spend on schools—just more.
Chances are slim that November’s $8.3 million atop the $108 million predicted boost in revenue to be received by June 30 when this fiscal year ends will be enough to satisfy the court.
So, good news, but not enough good fiscal news to allow the state to avoid another tax increase to adequately finance schools or to cut spending on something else and transfer the money to schools or to figure out some way to overturn or emasculate the Supreme Court’s decision that the school finance plan in place now is unconstitutional.
New taxes on things that are exempt from taxation now? That’s going to be a tough one for lawmakers—especially House members who stand for re-election next year. It means not only finding new things to tax—and fighting with lobbyists who represent those untaxed businesses—but doing it quickly so the money starts rolling in by early spring.
Raising existing taxes? Well, last year it was income taxes that were boosted, and the year before that it was raising sales taxes. That doesn’t sound like a starter, does it?
Of course, there are still seven months left in this fiscal year, and it might turn out that the state has underestimated just how much money the retroactive income tax increase will raise and whether those limited liability companies and self-employed workers will pony up more money than expected after a four-year break from paying state income taxes.
But month-by-month as the Legislature meets to craft a new school aid proposal and a budget for everything else the state does with your tax dollars, the time clock ticks on that Supreme Court decision.
Back when lawmakers thought they had the school finance issue settled for this year and next, they hoped the upcoming session would be short, low-cost and generally agreeable to Kansans who will vote for their reelection next November.
Doesn’t look like that anymore. Nope, it’s looking like the little revenue boost the state enjoyed last month isn’t near what is going to be required and lawmakers are going to have to raise more money from somewhere…which means you.
Unless…and you gotta hope…that state revenues are going to unexpectedly climb to dig out of the budget hole facing the state.
Syndicated by Hawver News Company LLC of Topeka; Martin Hawver is publisher of Hawver's Capitol Report—to learn more about this nonpartisan statewide political news service, visit the website at www.hawvernews.com

Monday, December 4, 2017

Baldwin City Council Agenda - Decenber 5, 2017

Council Agenda for Baldwin City, KS

Location: Baldwin City Public Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS 66006
Date: TUESDAY December 5, 2017
Tme: 7:00 PM







A. Call to Order- Mayor Marilyn Pearse
B. Approval of the Agenda
C. Consent Agenda
1. Minutes of the November 21, 2017 Regular Meeting
2. Tobacco licenses a. Baldwin City Market
 b. Kwik Shop
 c. Payless Tobacco
D. Public Comment: Members of the public are welcome to comment on items relating to City business not listed on this Agenda.
Please stand and wait to be recognized by the Mayor. As a general practice, the comments may or may not be acted upon by the Council during the meeting, or Council may refer the items to staff for follow up. If you wish to comment on an item listed on the Agenda, a sign-up s h e e t is provided for you to sign in and provide your address. You will be called on when the Agenda item of interest is under discussion by the Council. 

E. Special Reports or Presentations 1. Building Permits - Ken Hayes
F. Old Business
1. Charter Ordinance 27, appointments
2. Ordinance 1380, code 1-301 amendment
3. Capital Improvement Plan
G. New Business 1. Eaton Corporation contract for SCADA
H. Committee and/or Commission Reports
1. Budget and Finance/Kathy Gerstner, David Simmons
2. Community Development Committee/A.J. Stevens, Tony Brown
3. Public Health and Safety Committee/David Simmons, Kathy Gerstner
4. Public Works Committee/Christi Darnell, A.J. Stevens
5. Utilities Committee/Tony Brown, Christi Darnell
I. City Administrator and Staff comments
1. KMEA asset report- Chris Croucher
2. Financial Reports - Brad Smith
 a. Vendor report
 b. Summary report J. Council & Mayor Comments
K. Executive Session L. Adjourn

Area Communities Welcome Christmastime

Kevin Surbaugh

Lauren McCart visits with Santa during the annual
Pancakes with Breakfast
Bringing in the Christmas season is an event in every community around the country.  Baldwin City is no different. This year the Baldwin City happenings once again began with the Annual Pancakes with Santa Breakfast at the Intermediate Center.  There was a good turnout of families enjoyed the pancakes and sausages, once again provided by Chris Cakes. Each was given a number when they paid for their tickets at the entrance.  The numbers allowed them to visit Santa and get their picture taken with him, on a first come first serve basis.
While Lawerence, has their horse-drawn Christmas parade at 11 A.M., Baldwin City has a day full of activities for people of all ages.  Such events included the Santa Claus Express with runs at 9:30 A.M. and 1 P.M., an open house and bazaar at Vintage Park until 1 P.M and that is just a beginning. Other activities throughout the day included a holiday homes tour, a couple of gingerbread house making events, a day-long art show referred to as a "Holiday Art Affair," and the annual Holiday Soup Supper held at the First United Methodist Church.

Rowdie Bond; age 1, Ryder Bond; age 8,
Destiny Johnson; age 12 along with Tammy Johnson
enjoy their pancakes at their pancakes with Santa.
In the evening Baldwin City had Victorian Singers, who sang victorian age songs. Those in attendance enjoyed cookies and hot cider while listening to the singers and looking at the artwork on sale at the Lumberyard Arts Center. This year, the cider and cookie tables were moved outside, making them more accessible to everyone attending the parade, tree lighting and fireworks.
Others who were in a shopping mood could also their way across the street to the Baldwin Academy of Dance and Voice for holiday shopping.


The day-long events in Baldwin City began to wind up with the annual Festival of Lights Parade at 6 P.M., the annual tree lighting, and fireworks at 6:30 with more pictures with Santa at 6:45 P.M.

Kade Patton; age 3 and Kash Patton; age 1
along with their mom took the opportunity to make
crafts, during Pancakes with Santa
Cindy Gillman, the winner of the Baldwin City Recreation Commission Raffle took home a 50" television.


 In Eudora, they lit the Mayors Christmas Tree at 7 P.M. with several hundred residents coming downtown to welcome the holiday season.














Sunday, December 3, 2017

Area Happenings - Week of December 3, 2017

Here are the upcoming events that the Gazette has been made aware of as of  December 2, 2017.  To submit an item to the community events calendar, please email it to press@baldwingazette.com.

 December 3, 2017

Christmas Candlelight Vespers
2 and 5 P.M.
Rice Auditorium



December 5, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.


December 9, 2017

Clearfield German Christmas Celebration
Dinner:  4-6 P.M. 
Free Will Offering
Craft and Bake Sale Throughout the Evening
4:45 P.M.  Tree Lighting     
5 P.M. Carol Singing in the Sanctuary 
 5:30 P.M.  Tree Lighting Offering for Youthville/Ember Hope
5:45 P.M.  Thompson Sister Violin Duet 
6:30 P.M.  Tree Lighting Offering for Youthville/Ember Hope   
6:45 P.M.   Hands of Glory 
Clearfield UMC Meets 
Each Sunday @ 9 A.M.  
You are Welcome to Join Us 
597 E 2200 Rd
Eudora, KS

 December 10, 2017

Army Reserve Band
3 P.M.
Rice Auditorium


December 19, 2017

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.

December 29, 2017

COME AND ENJOY OUR
COMMUNITY DINNER  & FELLOWSHIP
          TO BE HELD  AT 6:00  to?


HOST
VINLAND UNITED CHURCH
1724 N 692 RD
BALDWIN CITY, KS 6600


January 2, 2018

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.



January 16, 2018

Baldwin City Council Meeting
Location: Baldwin City Library
800 7th Street
Baldwin City, KS
7 P.M.


Third Friday Art Walk and Farmers Market

Downtown Baldwin City





Every 4th Thursday of the Month
10 A.M. - 11 A.M.
Mobile Food Bank
Baldwin City New Life Assembly of God
118 5th St  Baldwin City, KS
Stay in car, line up and drive through



Every Tuesday through October  
Eudora Local Gardening Farmer’s Market
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm Tuesdays
through October 2016
1402 Church Street
Eudora, KS.
In the parking lot of Gene’s Hartland Foods.
Local, fresh produce and foods offered by local growers and producers!


Every Wednesday through October
De Soto Farmer’s Market (Fresh Promise’s Market)
4:30 pm – 6:30 pm
Wednesdays through October 2016
at The Barn at Kill Creek Farm
9200 Kill Creek Road
De Soto, KS
Local, fresh produce and foods offered by local growers and producers!


Every Thursday through October 
Cottin's Hardware Farmer's Market on Thursdays from
4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
through September
at Cottin's Hardware & Rental back parking lot
1832 Massachusetts Street
Lawrence, KS
Local vendors offer a variety of goods including produce, baked items, hot foods, meats, eggs, soaps, jams, jellies, herbs, fudge and much more!;


Every Friday through October
Perry Lecompton Farmers' Market
Fridays from 4:00 pm - 6:30 pm
at Bernie's parking lot
24 Hwy and Ferguson Road
Perry, KS
Visit the market to find fresh vegetables, fruits, homemade jams and jellies, baked goods, honey, fresh cut flowers, farm fresh eggs, handmade crafts and more!


2017 Festival of Lights in Pictures

Kevin Surbaugh 

Lauren McCart visits with Santa during the annual
Pancakes with Breakfast

Kade Patton; age 3 and Kash Patton; age 1
along with their mom took the opportunity to make
crafts, during Pancakes with Santa


Rowdie Bond; age 1, Ryder Bond; age 8,
Destiny Johnson; age 12 along with Tammy Johnson
enjoy their pancakes at their pancakes with Santa.
Gingerbread houses

Gingerbread houses

Gingerbread House designed after the Manhatten train station.
150 hours to create.

This unique gingerbread house was made to look like a guitar.

Victorian Singers singing around the piano.
One of several floats in the parade.

Santa closes out the parade with his grand entrance to
Baldwin City.
Recently lit Christmas tree with fireworks display against
the full moon.

Baker University mascot participates in the Christmas parade.

Recently lit Christmas tree with fireworks display against
the full moon.