To the editor:
The $164 million bond for the biodefense facility is not a good deal for Kansas taxpayers. Tom Thornton, head of the Biosciences Authority, was quoted saying that the biosecurity lab would bring between 250 to 350 permanent jobs. A $164 million bond over 20 years works out to $8.2 million in new taxes every year for taxpayers. If only 200 jobs are created, taxpayers could pay upward of $40,000 per job EVERY year for 20 years. Even if 400 jobs are created we're still paying roughly $20,000 per year per new job.
At an average $50,000 salary, the typical Kansas worker likely pays a lot less than $2,000 in state income taxes, less than $1,000 in sales tax and perhaps $2,000 in property taxes, while any kids they have cost the state and local community as much as $5,000 a year to educate. That's $5,000 in new revenues per job with upward of $35,000 in new costs per job or more for the state.
Sure there are indirect economic benefits and temporary construction jobs, but will they really cover that tax revenue shortfall? And who really benefits? Landowners, developers and Wall Street bond dealers reap millions in immediate profits. Where is the return on OUR investment? Why doesn't the legislation promise a $300M tax rebate over 20 years to reward OUR investment of $164 million. History shows when big government gets bigger, private jobs leave the state.