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Accountability at the coffee shop
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Barton County is fortunate in that our communities make an effort to invite legislators representing the constituents of our area to meet face to face. Likewise those representatives make an effort to attend events like legislative coffees like the one held Wednesday morning at Ellinwood.
One of the wonderful things about living in rural Kansas is the intimacy we’re provided at meetings like these. While they are held in urban areas too, the sheer numbers of people being represented means a smaller percentage will actually have the chance to speak one on one with their elected representatives because venues like the corner coffee shop are simply not big enough.
Our legislators are often more candid than some may expect, and that too is something we should feel fortunate for. And in turn, constituents are more apt say exactly how they feel. In this way, accountability is meted out.
At Ellinwood, Senator Mitch Holmes explained that in 2012, a “literal drafting error” was made, having lasting effects on the finances of Kansas ever since. LLC’s were accidentally included with corporations when eliminating income tax at the state level. No one caught it then, including Holmes, he admitted, until it was too late.
Since then, thousands of former S-corporations have converted to LLCs to take advantage of this giant loophole, an unintended consequence that has nearly bankrupted the state. After the past couple years of proposed bills to remove LLC’s from the language of that bill, he said, finally the governor is no longer threatening to veto such a bill outright.
But when questioned about the part he played, he had little to say. Yes, he voted in favor of the bill in 2012. Now, in 2016, he’s waiting until the final wording of the new bill is completed before he declares his support of it. Perhaps he’s learned a lesson, and is now taking the time all our legislators should have taken four years ago to ensure our finances weren’t allowed to sink into this deep hole we find ourselves in now.