Topeka U.S. Sen. Sam Brownback’s lieutenant governor running mate, state Sen. Jeff Colyer, R-Overland Park, voted against the recently approved sales tax increase but voted for the new $8.2 billion transportation plan, which will be partially funded with that tax increase.
Asked about this by the Lawrence Journal-World, Colyer said the transportation plan “wasn’t tied to that tax increase.”
Under the tax increase, the state sales tax will increase on July 1 from 5.3 cents per dollar to 6.3 cents per dollar. On July 1, 2013, the tax will decrease to 5.7 cents per dollar and 0.4 cents per dollar of that tax rate will go to the transportation plan. Over the 10-year life of the transportation plan, that portion of the sales tax will generate $1.5 billion.
In signing the transportation bill into law last month, Gov. Mark Parkinson called it one of the most important jobs bills in Kansas history. The vote that made it happen, was the vote for the sales tax increase, said Parkinson, a Democrat who had pushed for the tax increase.
State Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, who is the leading Democratic gubernatorial candidate, voted for both the tax increase and the transportation plan.
Colyer was one of five state senators who voted against the tax increase but for the transportation plan. The other four were Les Donovan, R-Wichita, Mike Petersen, R-Wichita, Derek Schmidt, R-Independence, and Chris Steineger, D-Kansas City.
Brownback, the leading Republican candidate for governor, on Tuesday announced his selection of Colyer on the ticket.