Archive for Saturday, March 23, 2002

Plan targets sales, cigarettes

March 23, 2002

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Highlights of the budget plan presented Friday by Gov. Bill Graves:

Tax Increases

 Total raised: $364 million in fiscal 2003.

 Sales tax: Rise to 5.2 percent from the current 4.9 percent for three years starting June 1, for $114.7 million.

 Cigarette tax: Add 65 cents a pack, making it 89 cents, for $111.2 million.

 Income tax: Add 5 percent surcharge for 2003, 2004 and 2005, for $104.7 million.

 Estate tax: Raise $20 million from "Class C" heirs, nephews, nieces and nonrelatives who inherit property.

 Corporate taxes: Double franchise fees, which corporations and nonprofits pay for the right to do business in state. Fees would be 2 percent of value of stockholder equity attributed to Kansas, with minimum of $40 and maximum of $5,000.

 Tax relief: Expand income tax credit and food sales tax rebate program for poor families, costing $4.6 million.

Spending changes

 Total reductions: $365.5 million.

 Public schools: Increase state aid by $20 per student, to $3,890. Costs $12 million.

 Higher education: Forgo $45 million increase promised under 1999 law reorganizing system.

 Social services: Reduce various Department of Social and Rehabilitation Services programs, $19.3 million; reduce spending of tobacco dollars on health and social services programs, $7.6 million; cut Department on Aging, $332,000.

 Transportation: Eliminate $147 million transfer of sales tax revenues to highway projects.

 Prisons: Close minimum-security units in Osawatomie, Stockton and Toronto and conservation camps for male and female offenders in Oswego, saving $5.5 million.

 General administration: Impose one-year moratorium on vehicle, furniture purchases, saving $9 million.

 Legislature: Shorten 2003 session to 80 days from traditional 90 days, saving $600,000.

 Driver's license offices: Close eight testing stations, saving $400,000.

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