Topeka Gov. Mark Parkinson’s proposal for a 3-year, 1-cent increase in the state sales tax gets its first legislative hearing this morning.
Parkinson has said the increase is needed to help bridge a $400 million revenue shortfall. Five rounds of budget cuts have been enough, Parkinson argues, and more cuts could have a devastating effect on basic government services.
House Bill 2475 would increase the state sales tax from 5.3 cents per dollar to 6.3 cents per dollar on July 1. It then would be reduced to 5.5 cents per dollar on July 1, 2013 with the extra two-tenths of a cent going toward a new transportation program.
The House Taxation Committee was hearing from supporters of the bill today and opponents on Tuesday.
Education and social service advocates were lined up to speak in favor of the measure.