Archive for Thursday, April 22, 2010

House appropriations chair envisions budget surplus without raising taxes

Would invole considerable additional cuts to education

April 22, 2010, 2:15 p.m. Updated April 22, 2010, 4:22 p.m.


— A key Kansas House Republican said Thursday his budget committee will produce a 2011 budget that will end in the black without raising taxes.

Rep. Kevin Yoder said that despite a downward revision of Kansas’ revenue estimates last week by researchers, the blueprint the House Appropriations Committee has sketched out will still work. Subcommittees met Thursday to consider additional changes and will assemble a final bill Friday.

“I won’t be surprised if we added some money in, but it won’t require a tax increase,” said Yoder, an Overland Park Republican.

In its latest consensus revenue report, a group of Kansas economists and researchers projected that the state will end the current fiscal year with an $89 million shortfall. That figure balloons in the fiscal year beginning July 1 to $510 million under a budget proposal by Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson.

Under the tentative House plan, Kansas would end 2011 with a surplus of $159 million, but that would shrink to $75 million when factoring in the 2010 shortfall. Yoder doesn’t want to spend all that reserve and would prefer to find more savings.

“Zero is not OK,” he said.

Senators finished work Wednesday on their own 2011 budget plan, which would require $412 million in new revenue to balance. The figure grows to $501 million to cover 2010’s deficit.

All 125 House and 40 Senate members return to work April 28 to resume the session after a nearly monthlong break. They will still have 15 days remaining of the 90 days scheduled for the 2010 session, but they could go longer if necessary.

The House plan cuts state spending, including not replacing federal stimulus funds used in the current year for K-12 education. It also assumes Kansas will get some $130 million in federal Medicaid funds.

Alan Conroy, head of the Legislative Research Department, told the House committee that the state’s economic recovery was “anemic” and that Kansas could expect to see unemployment around 6.7 percent for 2010 and 2011.

In calendar year 2009, Kansas experienced the first decline in personal income since World War II, he said. Incomes contracted by 0.4 percent but are expected to rebound by 1.8 percent in 2010 and 2 percent in 2011. Individual income taxes are the single largest source of state revenue.

“It emphasizes the severity and difficulty that the state finds itself,” Conroy said.

Legislators are likely to push most of the shortfall to the 2011 budget by delaying payment of some bills, such as pushing the final school aid payment from June to July, which it has done in the past. They also could use some leftover federal stimulus money that was intended for the next year or transfer money from any other available state accounts.

Yoder said there was too little time between when a bill cutting state spending would be approved and signed by Parkinson and the end of the fiscal year to make up the shortfall.


Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 12 months ago

How sad is it that the reporter for the Associated Press continues to print this stuff?

This fantasy "no new taxes" budget includes a property tax increase of over $200 million. It also relies on federal funding that is a complete and total mirage.

There's smoke and mirrors, and then there is Kevin Yoder's budget. It is no wonder he is desperate to be in Congress, he already budgets like they do in DC. Somebody should check his bill for earmarks.

akuna 7 years, 12 months ago

Ah, yes, the old bash the Federal Government for overspending at a Tea Party rally and then rely on the Federal Government's money to help the state's budget shortfall gambit. Brilliant move, Yoder. Hypocrite.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 12 months ago

Saying "I didn't raise your taxes" then forcing local communities to raise taxes for various services around the state (much less efficient and not as fair as raising state level taxes and redistributing them) has been the drill for nearly 15 years. It's worked so far. BTW: if you like some good center-left politics with a bit of humor, see

EyeonKansas 7 years, 12 months ago

Good one auntie! Kevin Yoder is a maroon (yes, misspelled on purpose) to think the budget will have a surplus without an increase in revenue. I would rather have a state wide sales tax increase than local increases. The money needs to go in at the state level to be distributed, not my local government that would rather fund their own pet projects and then complain they don't get enough from the state.

gccs14r 7 years, 12 months ago

So did Yoder decide to not fund education at all, and call that a surplus?

texburgh 7 years, 12 months ago

Yoder has his nose so far up Mike O'Neal's rear he can see out his nostrils. Yoder is among the most hypocritical legislators in the Kansas House. I can't wait until Republicans decide they want this dirt bag representing us in Washington.

Terry Schmidt 7 years, 12 months ago

I have never felt so sad for the children of this State. Republican leadership in the State must spend most of their 'listening sessions' hearing imbeciles who have nothing to do but make life miserable as they hang-out in podunk town cafes, beer joints, and grease spots. It may be best that Kevin Yoder flees for D.C. At least he cannot harm anymore children in our State.

avoice 7 years, 12 months ago

Imagine how different the picture for Kansas children would be if their parents, instead of spending $200 a month on sports programs like club soccer and martial arts and gymnastics/dance lessons, were to invest at least half that much per month on the kids' educations. If people who have plenty of money to throw around for their kids were to have to pay tuition, then our tax dollars could go to paying for the kids who truly need the assistance, and the schools would get all the money they need and want. The problem is that we burden tax payers for every child's education, allowing wealthy parents of school-aged children to avoid having to contribute appropriately to the schools.

pittstatebb 7 years, 12 months ago

Or if we had no private schools those same parents could become involved in the public education process. Through their involvement and pressure for better schools, the schools would be forced to change. Through their donated time and money, those who will become users of social services and thus users of our tax money for the rest of their lives (not just the 12 years of school) will have a better chance to escape the life they were born into. Just a pipe dream, but so is forcing parents to enroll their children into private schools through budget cuts to k-12 ed.

Mixolydian 7 years, 12 months ago

I too would rather see a 1 to 2 cent sales tax across the board imposed rather than an income tax.

Already 50% of the nation pays no income tax. Time for the lower 50% to have some "skin in the game" as Obama is fond of saying. The so called "rich" (i.e. the other 1 out of 2) are soaked out.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 12 months ago

"Already 50% of the nation pays no income tax."

Maybe that's because the top 10% make more than 50% of the income (and half of that among the top 1%.)

But your sympathy for the poor little rich people is touching.

aequitas 7 years, 12 months ago

As a product of the State's higher education system a couple times over, you would think Yoder would see the value of not cutting this funding any further. Yoder's ambition for Congress is quickly outpacing his logic and concern for his current constituents.

aequitas 7 years, 12 months ago

As a product of the State's higher education system a couple times over, you would think Yoder would see the value of not cutting this funding any further. Yoder's ambition for Congress is quickly outpacing his logic and concern for his current constituents.

Julie Jacob 7 years, 12 months ago

All those comments and noone has noticed the typo in the subtitle?

Brian Laird 7 years, 12 months ago

I think that "invole" means to "fornicate with a small fur-bearing rodent", in which case it wouldn't be a typo. Sort of like "screw the pooch" for the less well-endowed.

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