Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Can Jeff Vaught Back Up His Statement?

At last night's council committee meeting Jeff Vaught made a statement that 40% of Shawnee's sales tax revenue came from folks who don't live in Shawnee. 

The point he was trying to make is that by adding a new sales tax for street maintenance, folks from outside, who use our streets, would be paying part of the repair costs.  That idea by itself has merit.  I just question the 40% figure.  Sometimes, elected officials repeat an item often enough so folks start believing the information. 

So, what do we do?  We asked Jeff Vaught to provide documentation to back up his statement.  Will he provide it?  Can he provide it?  Does it exist?  We'll see.  Below is the email I sent to him.

Wed 6/18/2014 5:49 PM

At last night’s council committee meeting you again stated that 40% of the sales tax money received in Shawnee was from individuals who lived outside the city.  It would be nice to make folks who live outside the city contribute to street maintenance.

Since Kansas statute prohibits the city from being furnished the sales tax revenue by retailer, it seems strange that a determination can or has been made as to how much of that revenue was from individuals who shop in Shawnee but don’t live here.

As an elected official it is imperative that you be able to substantiate these kinds of statements.  Not just repeat them and having folks think they are accurate.

Therefore, kindly furnish me with the following items:
1.  Verifiable source document that contains that information.
2.  The methodology used to determine that information.

Thank you

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