Kansas City Star, A focus on taxes versus a focus on social issues

October 26, 2016

PDF link – A focus on taxes versus a focus on social issues

Link to original article – http://www.kansascity.com/news/local/community/joco-913/article109045442.html

Focus on taxes challenges a focus on social issues
Special to The Star
OCTOBER 25, 2016 8:00 AM
For Benjamin Hodge, challenger in the Third District race for the Johnson County Commission, the campaign boils down to taxes and spending. Taxes
are too high, he says, and spending is out of control.
For Steve Klika, who has represented the area since 2013, quality-of-life issues like support for education, public safety and social issues take the front
Voters in the southeastern corner of the county, which includes southern Overland Park and Stilwell, will decide Nov. 8 which candidate to send to a
four-year term overseeing county government.
Hodge, who has been politically active in the county helping fiscal conservatives get elected, said via email that property and sales tax rates are his
primary reason for running.
“The current group of county commissioners is either uninterested or incapable of budgeting and they will continue to increase taxes in the coming
years,” he said.
With population growth expanding the tax base and land values increasing faster than inflation, the county can lower tax rates and still get the same
amount of revenue, he said, promising never to vote for a tax increase “until we’ve exhausted all options at cutting waste.”
He cited favorable ratings he got when he was in the Kansas Legislature from Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce and the
Kansas Taxpayers Association.
Hodge also favors a requirement to put all property tax increases, regardless of size, to a public vote. Such a requirement recently passed the Kansas
Legislature and will take effect on the next budget cycle.
He said if elected, he would support laws that require a vote before land is taken through eminent domain or annexation. Continue reading