Archive for Monday, January 4, 2010

Statehouse Live: Transportation panel pushes forward tax increase proposals; State revenue agency collects $40 million in disputed tax cases; Moran touts opposition to immigration legislation

January 4, 2010, 9:42 a.m. Updated January 4, 2010, 3:52 p.m.


A legislative committee on Monday recommended lawmakers consider new state transportation plans that would increase taxes.

The proposals will be sent to the 2010 Legislature, which starts Jan. 11.

The special House-Senate committee forwarded two options.

One option would reduce the motor fuels tax by 5 cents per gallon, but apply the state sales tax of 5.3 cents per dollar on motor fuels purchases. That would raise $4 billion over 10 years.

The other option would increase the motor fuels tax by 7 cents per gallon and then enact further increases based on the Consumer Price Index. That would raise $3.7 billion over 10 years.

Under both scenarios, the tax increases would not take effect until 2013. The plans would also increase car and truck registration fees.

Any final plan would have to be approved by the Legislature.

The committee had a vigorous debate over whether to push the options forward.

Several members said they didn’t want to increase taxes, while supporters of the recommendation said they simply wanted to get a plan before the rest of the Legislature.

“The primary purpose of any recommendation is to provide information to our colleagues, stimulate discussion and get feedback from them,” said state Sen. John Vratil, R-Leawood.

12:11 p.m.

The Kansas treasury will receive approximately $40 million as part of negotiations in disputed tax cases, Kansas Department of Revenue Joan Wagon said Monday.

“I think we got the best deal for the taxpayers,” Wagnon said. “We did not have a fire sale,” she said.

The news comes as state agencies struggle to deal with budget cuts amid dwindling tax revenues.

Auditors and attorneys for the Revenue Department helped clear disputed coporate income tax, sales tax and privilege tax cases.

9:42 a.m.

U.S. Rep. Jerry Moran, R-Hays, issued a news release staking out his opposition to immigration legislation “that would create an amnesty program rewarding illegal immigration.”

“Once again, the Obama Administration is proposing a disastrous idea that will further bankrupt the country. Amnesty legislation would just encourage more illegal immigration,” said Moran, who is running for the U.S. Senate.

Reports out of Washington over the past few days have indicated the Obama administration wants to start work on immigration reform, but that the issue may have to wait because of other domestic priorities -- the economy and health care -- the divisiveness of the subject, and the upcoming mid-term elections in November.

A bill in the House would grant permanent resident status to unauthorized immigrants who pay a $500 fine, learn English and pass background checks. It also seeks to strengthen the border area.

U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, D-Ill, said of his proposal, “It keeps families together, but understands we must secure our borders. It keeps people working, but understands the needs of our economy. It gives a pathway to citizenship, but understands that immigrants must learn English, pay taxes and contribute to their communities.”

U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., chairman of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on immigration, is expected to unveil his proposal this month.

Moran is vying for the Senate seat being vacated by U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., who is running for governor. Moran faces U.S. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, in the GOP primary in August.


Jimo 8 years, 2 months ago

Yes, because there are so many immigrants in Hays. I hear there are even a thousand at the slaughterhouse in Garden City alone! Pretty soon they'll be taking all our good-paying jobs like cleaning our toilets. Once that happens, we might as well pack up and head back to England or Sweden or whatever lily-white place we come from.

Have no fear Kansans. Very few immigrants are attracted to economic backwaters like the Sunflower State.

Jimo 8 years, 2 months ago

Why are Roberts and Moran encouraging the same failed economic policies that led the last decade to zero growth (the worst since the 1930s)??

WilburM 8 years, 2 months ago

ah, Jerry must have gotten up on the conservative side of the bed today, as he races to out-Tiahrt Tiahrt. Jerry always wants to have it both ways -- he's really conservative, but also a moderate voice. Must be interesting to see him choose his shirt in the morning? Blue? White? Maybe a stripe?

At the same time, a guy who voted against the Patriot Act and Medicare D -- two bad pieces of legislation (not the ideas, but the actual legislation). Strange.

MyName 8 years, 2 months ago

Ugh, Wilbur it's the same playbook that's been around since Nixon: veer Right in the primaries then dash for the center. The only thing Moran has going for him is that he seems to be the less worse of the two poor options.

Jock Navels 8 years, 2 months ago

From the late 1940s to the late 1980s my uncle was a pig sticker in a meat packing plant. He lived in the 'burbs, drove a brand new cadillac every 3 years, belonged to the golf club, and sent 3 kids through college, then retired and lived a quiet life of dignity. Do the folks who work in meat-packing do that today?

Mixolydian 8 years, 2 months ago

Jimo (Anonymous) says…

Pretty soon they'll be taking all our good-paying jobs like cleaning our toilets.


So, does that mean if I come and break into your house and clean your toilets you will not only pay me, and continue to pay me, for my services but you will also:

  1. Let me stay in your house.
  2. Not call the police for breaking and entering, indeed forgive me for doing so and adopt me and my family into your family.
  3. Pay to educate my children
  4. Provide me and my family free medical care.

Jimo 8 years, 2 months ago

"Hey Jimo baby, why don't you carry your enlightened butt to California? They need a few more leftists!"

Not sure why you hate America so much, Thing, but you're free to move to whatever fascist paradise floats your boat.

Jimo 8 years, 2 months ago

Mixolydian, on what planet do you spend the majority of your time?

Jimo 8 years, 2 months ago

"Do the folks who work in meat-packing do that today?"

No, we've taken a dangerous but highly paid union job that used to be in places like KCMO and Chicago and turned it into a dangerous but lowly paid non-union job in places like Kansas and Colorado. But hey, adjusted for inflation beef has never been cheaper in the race to the bottom. Sorry to hear that your uncle and his family got thrown to the wolves as the price of progress.

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