Committee holds tax exemption hearing for group that feeds American warriors
The way Kansas State Representative Melvin Neufeld, R-Ingalls, sees it, the work of the All-American Beef Battalion is an extraordinary thing.
"Once in a while, in America people stand-up and do the right thing. It makes me proud to an American and a Kansan," Rep. Neufeld said. "When founder Bill Broadie returned from serving in Vietnam, he wasn't treated well. He wanted to make sure today's service men and women were treated with the respect and dignity they deserved."
The work Neufeld refers to is the Beef Battalion's efforts to feed American service men and women a steak when they are leaving for or returning from service in Iraq and Afghanistan or are part of the Wounded Warrior program. So far the Beef Battalion has feed more than 6,000 military members and their families.
Neufeld shared the story of the Beef Battalion's work with the House Taxation Committee during a public hearing Feb. 4 on House Bill 2048 to exempt the organization from paying sales taxes.
"It makes no sense to me for the state to be collecting sales tax from the Beef Battalion when they are paying them with monies donated to the organization," Neufeld told the committee.
The organization's founder, Bill Broadie, told the committee every $11 the Beef Battalion pays to the state is one less steak served to a service man or woman.
"This is very emotional for me," Broadie said. "In many cases, these kids are getting on a plane the next day to risk his life for our country's freedoms. Most of the money raised is spent with Kansas businesses."
If Kansas Legislature grants the tax exemption, the Beef Battalion would save about $4000 annually. Broadie said that would let the group serve up steaks to another 364 service men and women.
"Especially during this time of war, we should do what we can to show our support for our American troops. This is just a small way Kansans can do that," said Rep. Pat George, R-Dodge City, who serves on the House Taxation Committee.
You can learn more about the All-American Beef Battalion at www.steaksfortroops.com.