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McPhersonSentinel - McPherson, KS
  • Candidate profile: Les Mason

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  • Position for which you are running: Kansas House of Representatives District 73
    Age: 59
    Education: Graduate McPherson High School, Central College
    Occupation: Business owner- The Old Muffin Factory
    Experience: Sales manager - The Wall Rogalsky Milling Co.
    District Director - Congressman Dick Nichols
    Owner - The Old Muffin Factory (since 1991)
     
    What differentiates you from other candidates?
    As the incumbent, I was able to gain valuable experience from the 2014 session. I concentrated on learning the people, the language, customs and culture. I've been able to make many connections and friends in the Capitol, and that will only serve to make me more effective as time moves forward. In my 35+ years of business experience, I learned to create long-term working relationships and foster friendships. That has and will continue to serve me well in the legislature.
     
    What would you do to address state shortfalls in revenue?
    That is an issue that is truly "wait and see." It's projected that the state general fund — even with April, May, June not meeting estimates — will still end in the $300 million range. For perspective, the state general fund in January 2011 was $800. Some of the shortfalls are due to changes in the federal capital gains code, and some are due to the fact that there were reductions in the state's income tax formula. That means more money in the pockets of our citizens.
     
    What tax policy do you support?
    I support the long-term goal of reducing all state income tax levels to zero. That will spur economic growth, create jobs, and in turn increase revenues to the state without increasing property taxes or other taxes.
     
    What would you do to support job growth in the state?
    We need to continue to foster an environment that eases the burdens of regulation and taxes on business, especially small business. It's estimated that 98 percent of all Kansas workers are employed in businesses with less than 100 employees. Every big business begins as a small business. If we are to truly be "pro-jobs," then we must first be "pro-business."
    What are your views on the governance and financial support of education in the state?
    The education of our children is perhaps the most important thing we can do, as a state. Consequently, over 50 percent of all expenditures by our state are education related, and that's the fourth highest in the nation, as a percentage of budget.
    We must continue to do whatever it takes to give our children the best learning experience and environment and must do whatever it takes to make sure those teaching our children are the best at what they do and that they are compensated appropriately for being the best.

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