Ottawa Herald (Newspaper) - July 3, 2015, Ottawa, Kansas Page 4 Friday, July 3-5,2015 Reader contributions are encouraged and may be sent to The atawa Herald, 214 S. Hickory St., Ottawa. KS 66067; or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org Opinion ra Herald Ottawa Jeanny Sharp, editor and publisher )Sharp@ottawaherald.com EditorialIn and out Why are Kansans moving? Summer is a busy time for buying and selling homes, as well as moving. While some slates have a constant influx of new people, the same can’t be said for Kansas. Outward migration — people leaving the Sunflower State — has remained steady overall, with 57 percent of residents being native Kansans in 2012, according to research by the New York Times, That is a resurgence from a low of 53 percent in 1980. Both figures are a far cry though from the 69 percent of Kansans who were born in the state in 1900. Sure, we have people moving to Kansas from other places with the most — 7 percent-coming from Missouri. About 2 percent come from Oklahoma, while Southern .states supply about 7 percent of our new residents. Also in today’s Kansas, 7 percent of Sunflower State residents were born outside the U.S. Though Kansas’ immigrant population remains low-, the number has doubled since 1990. What these numbers don’t tell us is why people move to Kansas nor do they tell us why they move away from the state. The state’s universities and military bases are bound to impact inward and outward migration, while retirees often move to milder climates. But aside from those factors, many people move because of jobs. Kansas lost 3,800 jobs in May, according to the Current employment Statistics survey. The numbers are worse based on the Census’ Current Population Survey, which showed a decline on 6,939 Jobs in a month-to-month comparison in May. No rocket .science needed here — fewer jobs equals fewer people moving to the state. The U.S. Census Bureau shows one group — immigrants. Latinos and Asians •— are a growing portion of the state's economy and electorate. About one-third of those immigrants are naturalized citizens and voters. If the numbers are broken down further, the Latino share of Kansas’ population grew from 3.8 percent in 1990 to 7 percent in 2000 to 11.1 percent in 2013, according to the immigration Policy Center. Similarly, the Asian share of Kansas’ population grew from 1.2 percent in 1990 to 1.7 percent in 2000 to 2.5 percent in 2013. That’s a powerful boost to the state’s economy in the way of taxpayers and purchasing power. What are the commonalities about the people who stay in Kansas? What impact does the answer have on how things work — or don’t work — here? People who stay clearly know how to stare down a tornado, enjoy beautiful sunsets and bucolic settings. Most of all, they must have a sense of contentment to like being surrounded by others like them. If you know someone who is moving, here arc the most common reasons they might be doing so: housing-related, job-related and family and/or family situation-related. Regardless of the reason, it always is good to keep out the welcome mat to make new neighbors feel at home. — Jeanny Sharp, editor and publisher pJheW OttawaHerald A Hairis Group Newspaper; established m 1869 "rm'rrwf the iwwt. wukimt fern, favor t r pre/ud e " Jeanny Sharp EcNtor and Pi^isner jshafp@ottaw^alcl.Ci>m Address: 214 SJ«ckory St.. Ottawa KS 66067 Website: www.ottawahefatd.cofn Fax: (785) 242-9420 Serving Rankkn County and the surrounding arm PutMhed Tuesday*-n>ur«úws and Saturdays ssctpt New Vtar'i Day. Memorial Pay. mdspandence Day. Later Oi^. Thanksgmng and Chnstmaa « 214 SHictwry SI.. Ottawa, KS 66Qe7-23S2 P«nodicaiClM« po^age p«d at Ottawa. KS fMIS Mana^EdSor ttedaOoltsw^ierald com Uiwla aiawca AdwBfttHng Mecior lii>M II r II ^niiim i i iiti m i iilii ti n ■■■ aMncooottaMtfwiaKi.coRi KaSiylMNw. Buenassl. OÉoa Mmgtr knniaai^altawMisrahixom MarMyn: Drculatnn Coordinator mslevansoriUiQnawateraid com PMnaitor Sand addresB changec to TTw Ottawa Herald. 214 S. HK*mry St. Ottawa. KS 66067 (785) 242-4700 (800) 467-8383 ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: More editorial cartoons at htip://www,ottawahetaki,com/opinion/cartoons/ Lurching from one financial crisis to the next After smooth sailing financially for most of the 20th century, risky, ill-considered actions on state taxes now send Kansas’ ship of state lurching from one financial crisis to the next. And Kansans will bear the burden of these decisions for the foreseeable future. This radical experiment has produced five years of deficit spending, budget cuts, and repeated threats of budgetary disaster, excessive and unnecessary borrow ing and credit downgrades, tw o rounds of huge tax increases, and general incompetence in .stale finance. In this new normal, Kansans can expect a continued deterioration of core state services —■ education, health care, highways, and aid to vulnerable citizens. For years into the future, our children and grandchildren w ill be paying off debts incurred to protect their parents’ tax cuts, and borrow ing costs will increase. Business ow ners and nonprofit organizations will continue to experience an uncertain and threatening tax environment. Last week’s court order on school finance and this week’s news of sinking revenues foretells that state finance will again be on the rocks sooner than expected. Republican state lawmakers who took charge in 2010 and solidified their majorities in 2012 and 2014 are responsible for this financial debacle, Weil, let’s add that the voters who placed them in office bear responsibility too, but they have been misled along the way. None of these lawmakers campaigned for the heresy of eliminating the state income tax in 2010, certainly not candidate H. EDWARD FLENTJE I Insight Kansas Sam Browmbaek. He cloaked his “road map” around quickly forgotten themes of addressing childhood poverty, fourth grade reading levels, and education. These Republicans drank the tax-cut Kool-Aid as an economic panacea offered by di.scredited, corporate guru Arthur Laffer. A tortuous legislative process in 2012 broke pledges of compromise and forced through an ill-conceived bill that cut and eliminated state income taxes to the tune of nearly $1 billion annually and would have imposed spending cuts of $7 billion, nearly 25 percent of the state budget over the next five years, based on the governor’s spending plans. These same Republicans then did a complete about-face on taxes and began advocating increased sales taxes to clean up their self-inflicted financial mess. Remember that they had used their opposition to a “temporary” sales tax in the 2010 campaign to target and successfully defeat twelve house Democrats. They further joined with the Kansas State Chamber to blame moderate Republicans for the 2012 tax fiasco and target them in the 2012 primary, routing nine incumbent state senators. The first round of tax increas es came in 2013 after an extend ed legislative session. Republicans increased sales taxes and shrunk income tax cuts, totaling $420 million annually, to fill the budget hole. However, economic reality again undermined the tax-cut dogma throughout election year 2014: state revenues plummeted; economic growth lagged: credit was dow ngraded; and another budget crisis loomed. Brownback buried his head in the sand with a clever campaign ditty: “The sun is shining in Kan.sas and don’t let anybody tell you any different" The ru.so worked, as he eked out a narrow victory, albeit with lOO.CMKI few'er votes than in 2010. The gap betw'een revenues and expenditures, however, had ballooned to $800 million in 2015. During the longest legislative session in stale history, state house members were locked in their chamber late into the night, threatened and brow beaten. Finally, at 4 a.m.. sleep-deprived Republicans enacted a second round of higher ta.xes, primarily sales taxes and further shrinking of income tax cuts, totaling on average $4,60 million annually over the next three years. Brow nback held no signing ceremony. Unstable and unsustainable state finance has handed Kansans deteriorating state services, foisted debt onto future generations. and warned prospective businesses to be wary of the state’s volatile tax climate, is this financial future what Kansans bargained for when they voted these Republicans lawmakers into office? H. Edward Flentje is a professor at Wichita State University and a member of the insight Kansas writers group. Why I’m leaving Kansas I recently bought a 2015 Chevy Cruz from a Topeka dealership and got the shaft, but 1 also paid the state more than $800 in sales tax! After getting tags for the year, it cost me another $420 —• $28 dollars of w hich w ere add-on fees for county, city and state.Reader Forum Someone please tell me why the state is still charging computer upgrade fees? I can’t blame the governor for this, but I do point the finger at our state legislators, w ho in my opinion, are taxers and spenders. Now- is my time to gripe, so why is the City of Ottawa charging a water runoff fee? Maybe niy county commissioner can explain that one. Finally, it is no wonder why the state can’t keep good people here after they graduate from college, or are seeking a home and job from another state. — Stan Uoyd, Ottawa Share your views with The Herald (Dpifuons of readers are welcome in the Reader Forum. AH submissions must tndude the author's name, address and telephone number. Send letters by email to l€email@example.com or mail to Reader Forum, The Ottawa Herald, 214 S. Hickory St., Ottawa, KS 66(^7. Submissions shocAJ be no longer tíian 400 words. Letters may be edited for space, grammar and ctarity. Readers will be limited to one letter per month. Form letters, poems, consumer complaints or business testimoniáis wiH not be printed. YOUR NEWS. YOUR WAY.