Topeka Americans for Prosperity said Thursday it would work against any tax increase and would support lower government spending as the Legislature faces a growing budget deficit.
Derrick Sontag, director of AFP’s Kansas chapter, said the state’s budget problems are due to excessive government spending in recent years.
“The state of our budget cannot be blamed solely on the current economy. It’s quite simple: We have an over-spending problem in our state government,” Sontag said.
Lawmakers face a $186 million shortfall in the current fiscal year and upwards of a $1 billion deficit in the next.
AFP is a nonprofit organization that has been active in Kansas elections. The Kansas chapter has 30,000 members, Sontag said.
AFP was founded by billionaire David Koch, executive vice president and a board director for Koch Industries, based in Wichita. Koch was the Libertarian Party candidate for vice president of the United States in 1980 and is a well-known backer of anti-tax efforts.
AFP’s legislative agenda includes:
• Reduction of state debt.
• Requiring local governments to provide uniform budget information on a Web site.
• Opposing any tax increase, including a proposed 50-cent increase in the state cigarette tax.
• Requiring a super-majority in the Legislature to raise taxes.
• Reforming property tax law to hold in check increasing appraisals.
• Requiring legislative confirmation for selecting Kansas Supreme Court justices.
• Establishing a cost-benefit analysis to prioritize road projects.
• Providing residents more rights in issues of eminent domain and annexation.
• Establishing a “sunset” process to review agencies and programs to determine if they should continue.