Lawrence and Douglas County

Lawrence and Douglas county

Governor to sign tax increase

1-cent hike touted as means to avoid further budget cuts

May 12, 2010


— Reaction came swiftly Tuesday to the $314 million sales tax increase approved by the Kansas Legislature as the 2010 session closed.

Gov. Mark Parkinson said he would sign it, and the accompanying budget, into law by the end of the month.

“The bipartisan, balanced budget on its way to my desk reflects the values and priorities of Kansans,” Parkinson said.

“The 1-cent sales tax is a temporary solution which prevents permanent damage to our children’s education, our communities’ public safety and the care we provide to vulnerable citizens,” he added.

His comments came after a dramatic showdown in the House where the tax increase gained final approval on a 64-61 vote around 2 a.m. Tuesday, after the roll call was kept open for more than four hours.

Under the tax bill, the state sales tax will go from 5.3 cents per dollar to 6.3 cents per dollar for three years, starting July 1. Then on July 1, 2013, the tax will decrease to 5.7 percent with revenue from 0.4 of a cent going toward highway construction.

The budget and tax bills were crafted by a coalition of Democrats and some Republicans over the objections of a majority of Republicans, including House leaders, and business interests that opposed a tax increase and wanted more cuts.

Dan Murray, Kansas state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, said the Legislature “made a big mistake” in approving a tax increase because it will hurt businesses.

“Our members are furious with lawmakers for raising taxes now,” Murray said. “Kansas is still trying to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression. Our members understand that the state is facing a huge budget deficit, but a tax increase is going to make our economy worse, not better.”

But education advocates praised the legislators who pushed the tax bill through.

Rick Doll, Lawrence schools superintendent, said the Legislature’s action regarding the sales tax increase means the school board won’t have to make additional cuts for next school year.

Lawrence board members in March made $4.6 million worth of program and administrative cuts that caused the district to not offer new contracts to more than 30 teachers. Other cuts included moving the East Heights Early Childhood Family Center into Kennedy School, a 2 percent pay cut through four furlough days for administrators plus one furlough day for classified staff members, and Broken Arrow and Wakarusa Valley schools sharing a principal.

“You hate to say they only cut $4.6 million,” Doll said. “But it’s good they didn’t have to go any deeper.”

Doll said that if the state’s revenue picture worsened in coming months, the district could have to make mid-year cuts, but he said administrators were not thinking about that after Tuesday’s news out of Topeka.

Jill Docking, chairwoman of the Kansas Board of Regents, commended legislators who voted to protect higher education funding and approve a tax bill.

“Now is the time for regeneration — the time for the state to invest in its higher education system to lay the foundation for its future economic recovery. To those legislators who were willing to cast such critically important and responsible yes votes, thank you for investing in the future of Kansas,” Docking said.

When Kansas fell into the national recession, state funds dried up. For the first time in modern history, Kansas experienced a decline in tax collections for consecutive years. State officials cut nearly $1 billion as revenue declined and still Kansas faced another $500 million shortfall.

The bipartisan coalition fashioned tax and budget maneuvers to cover that $500 million gap.

Area legislators who voted for the tax bill were Reps. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence; Tony Brown, D-Baldwin City; Paul Davis, D-Lawrence; Ann Mah, D-Topeka; and Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence. Those voting against it were Anthony Brown, R-Eudora, and Lee Tafanelli, R-Ozawkie.

Both the House and Senate adjourned Tuesday afternoon. Legislators will return for a brief ceremonial end of the session May 28.


danemary 7 years, 10 months ago

what the hell is wrong with cutting your budget gov>? we need to here at home!

slowplay 7 years, 10 months ago

He never reads the articles. Only the headlines and then posts the usual drivel.

Paul R Getto 7 years, 10 months ago

Good job, leg; sign it gov. Now on to the source of the manufactured budget crisis: put the 90% of property and the 75% of sales which have been taken off the rolls back on the books. Let's start over and let those who claim they don't have to help paddle the state canoe back in the boat. If everyone pays, we can lower all the rates and generate more income for necessary state services.

BigPrune 7 years, 10 months ago

Tax increases NEVER help an economy. History proves this as true.

newmedia 7 years, 10 months ago

Kansas sales tax now about 2% higher than Missouri. Sad...

matchbox81 7 years, 10 months ago

I don't want to get into a race to the bottom of schools and social services with Missouri.

Brent Garner 7 years, 10 months ago

Typical of the Ruler centered power structure! Increasingly we appear to have moved from a gov't of the people to a gov't by the rulers. Anyone willing to bet that this "temporary" increase becomes permanent?

labmonkey 7 years, 10 months ago

Tax increases are never temporary. How about a 10% sales tax on everything made in China, and no sales tax on things made in Kansas (including Buick LaCrosses and Chevy Malibus). Help support Kansas jobs.

UlyssesPro 7 years, 10 months ago

We would call this a Tariff and not a Tax. And considering that we have a major trading relationship with various Asian countries who buy our wheat, this might not be a good move.

Shardwurm 7 years, 10 months ago

What if we just raise the tax to .50 cents and get it over with in two weeks?

Great way to spend your way out of a recession - take $310 million out of the pockets of consumers. We didn't need it anyway.

yankeevet 7 years, 10 months ago

Too hell with Kansas............I'm gone too Texas.......

yankeevet 7 years, 10 months ago

Great polka music; i spent 3 years in West Berlin 76-79....Vos ish los mine shotsi; lol

mr_right_wing 7 years, 10 months ago

Think of the Topeka bloodsuckers as you would an obnoxious panhandler downtown (although the panhandler deserves more respect.) Does a panhandler you give money to take it and tell you they won't bother you again? No! The next time they see you they bother you even more because they got money out of you in the past.

So those of you who fool yourself and are happy with that this tax increase will do; they'll be back for more, maybe next week, maybe next month. This won't be the last penny they steal from you.

Richard Payton 7 years, 10 months ago

The soda tax and nursing home bed tax is next! Tax never ends it just keeps on going and going much like the engerizer bunny!

anonyname 7 years, 10 months ago

True...they just might 'learn' how to 'use' random apostrophes as 'quotations' to randomly set aside 'words' throughout their writing, or even (gasp!) work on writing 'coherent' sentences and paragraphs.

Shardwurm 7 years, 10 months ago

Oh that's a good one! Let's not get rid of the fat in the school systems, bad teachers, and useless services provided. Let's jut throw out the old one about the kids suffering - it's reliable.

Success in school boils down to a child wanting to learn and a teacher wanting to teach. We could spend $7 Billion on education in this state and the achievement would not increase substantially. Stop falling for the old line about needing to spend more.

We've spent untold billions on poverty since 1965 and it's done absolutely nothing.

MyName 7 years, 10 months ago

Well yeah, except for the entitlements, and the 80% income tax brackets, and you know, the socialism, we're already there!

purplesage 7 years, 10 months ago

So - the government, at every level, is hurting for money. Did it ever occur to them that families and households are also strained for resources? A primary reason that government has decreased revenue is related to a downturn in the economy and job losses. It really makes a lot of sense to tax folks who already don't have a job or can't make ends meet on the essentials of life. It would take a Democrat to come up with a proposal like that. Oh wait . . . Mark Parkinson did change parties, didn't he?

Tom McCune 7 years, 10 months ago

There is no such thing as a temporary tax increase. They never revert to a lower tax structure, under the leadership of any party. LJW: come back to this 3 years from now and the story will be about what is being done to make the tax permanent.

Remember Bush Sr.'s promise of "No new taxes!"? He didn't create any new taxes, he just raised the old ones.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 10 months ago

It's not a "1-cent hike."

It's an 18.86% increase for three years. (1/5.3 = 18.86%)

CLARKKENT 7 years, 10 months ago


avoice 7 years, 10 months ago

As for automobiles, no matter where you buy it, you pay Kansas sales tax. If you think you may want to buy one before 2013, do it before July 1.

akuna 7 years, 10 months ago

There is some truth in this. Our national and state Debts are going to crush us if we don't start repaying them soon. Unfortunately the Republican Party's idea of fiscal policy (borrow and spend) over the past 30 years has really left our nation in a lurch. While the Democrats want to spend and create social programs, they usually have a plan for paying for their programs. This is not true of Republicans; they rely on our foreign "allies" and future generations to hold the bag.

We as a nation need to suck it up and start repaying the debt that we let our leaders accumulate. This probably means a tax increase and/or reduced DOD spending. Ultimately this is the fault of the electorate for turning a blind eye toward the reckless spending of the 80s, early 90s, and 00s. We need to vote out every leader that doesn't not make a solid promise to strong fiscal discipline and paying down the debt.

The state of the US is going to get darker before it gets brighter. I don't think we can avoid it anymore.

jafs 7 years, 10 months ago

That's one way to pay for the spending.

somedude20 7 years, 10 months ago

“The 1-cent sales tax is a temporary solution...... Then on July 1, 2013, the tax will decrease to 5.7 percent"

Ha! Temporary, that is as funny as trying to use the rhythm method as birth control

yankeevet 7 years, 10 months ago

Great polka music; spent 3 years in West Berlin; 76-79.......Vos ish los mine shotsi; lol...........

Scruggsy 7 years, 10 months ago

I propose a tax for random, meaningless capital letters and spelling errors in the LJW comment section. Throw in a fine for missing punctuation marks, and we might be headed in the right direction for balancing the budget!!!!

I wish I was intelligent enough to know what in the hell BP is even talking about sometimes.

When is the Great Missouri Exodus celebration to be held so I can see you to the border?

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 10 months ago

yeah... Missouri's taxes are lower... as is the quality of their roads and schools...

and... if you're driving to Missouri from Lawrence to shop you're likely to spend at least twenty bucks on gas... so you have to buy at least two-thousand dollars worth of stuff just to break even on the lower sales tax...

avoice 7 years, 10 months ago

What kind of vehicle do you drive, stuck? It only takes me $30 to fill my tank and I can drive to the state line and back on less than half a tank. And if you do like folks in the rural areas do (or used to do) you buy a month's worth of stuff in one trip. The savings can be substantial with just a little planning ahead.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 10 months ago

so, you're going to spend two hours driving to save $5 on a thousand dollars worth of stuff...

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 10 months ago

I think I'll shop here in Kansas... here in town... where sale taxes go to Kansas schools... Lawrence schools... and local roads...

yeah... I think that's what I'll do...

Richard Payton 7 years, 10 months ago

Sloan voted for this tax so did Ballard. Brown in Eudora opposed this tax I think voters will remember Brown in Eudora come next election.

akuna 7 years, 10 months ago

For those interested here is a link to a PDF of state sales tax comparison as of January 2010.

remember_username 7 years, 10 months ago

All this talk of people leaving the state or shopping in MO. I can't see how that is going to save you money unless, like some have said, you routinely travel to MO, or you work for some relocation expense-happy company. I'm sure MO will appreciate your money and since their sales per capita is about 10% higher than KS they don't need as high a sales tax. Goodness knows their roads are in worse shape than ours, and with fewer high school and college graduates per capita than KS, I'm sure their public education system could use your assistance. Good for you to exercise your right to be spiteful and help prolong the difficulties of your neighbors.

remember_username 7 years, 10 months ago

No I don't think everyone is struggling. Some of the biggest whiners, some on this very site, are pulling in a household income of well into six figures. Seriously, how can that even remotely be considered "struggling". A good number of people complaining about taxes can afford the sales tax increase, they just hate the idea that some of that money might end up going to some freeloader taking advantage of the system. But that's only one way to look at it. The other way is to consider that without some revenue enhancement somebody that really needs the support isn't going to get it. I find the latter view a little more humane.

monkeyspunk 7 years, 10 months ago

So, let me get this straight. You so-called conservatives who are so angered about the sales tax, point to Missouri as a refuge from this so-called Liberal agenda. You are serious right? Really? Because my brother lives in Missouri, so I know a little about their politics.

You do realize that Missouri has many more Democrats in their Senate and House than Kansas does right? You do realize that Missouri is a much more Democratic state than Kansas is right? For example, in the Missouri senate the ratio of Republicans to Demos is about 2:1. In the House it is very close to even. In Kansas, land of Conservative Valhalla, the ratio is 4:1 in the Senate, just about 1.5 : 1 in the House.

If you Republicans are unhappy with the current state of affairs, you have a few options, you can move to Missouri, or you could extract your cranium from your rectum and vote for change this year. Most of you lack the courage though, it's too bright out in the sunlight I guess. In your back entrance everything is right, Democrats bad, Republicans good.

You should change your party mascot to an ostrich.

Godot 7 years, 10 months ago

At least tell it like it is. This new tax represents a nearly 18% increase in the amount of sales tax you pay.

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 10 months ago

please... explain this "18% increase" to me...

is it not a one cent on the dollar raise?

isn't one cent one 1% of one dollar?

if it really is an 18% increase I will change my view...

stuckinthemiddle 7 years, 10 months ago

ah... okay... that doesn't change my view...

it is an increase of a penny on a dollar... or... 1% of a dollar...

Carol Braden 7 years, 10 months ago

In November, the moderates will come out in droves to support the moderate candidates who will support effective bi-partisan legislation.

The reasonable and moderate majority are tired of the negative extremism.

West_Sider 7 years, 10 months ago

My experience working in the retail liquor business leads me to believe that many of the companies we buy products from today will use this tax increase to up their prices at the same time.

Every time the state upped the liquor tax our Budweiser distributor would slip a small hike in prices at the same time. When the store regulars bitched about having to pay 52 cents more on their daily 12 pack, they correlated the increase to taxes vs taxes and the distributor.

georgeofwesternkansas 7 years, 10 months ago

I thought the state was building a casino in KC to take care of tax shortfalls?? Remember when Cathy wanted to include the casino revenue in the budget??

Where is the casino??

GardenMomma 7 years, 10 months ago

I wonder how many of you who argue that the 1% increase of the state sales tax is unjust will willingly pay the 2% extra sales tax to go to defray developers' cost to build your shopping malls?

mr_right_wing 7 years, 10 months ago

It's not the's the 1% here, then .5% there, then another 1% + a 1% 'temporary tax'. It just adds up over time (and there will always be more coming!)..... I would complain just as much about a 2% tax to build some shopping mall; in fact I'd scream even louder, we/I can't afford some extra tax to upgrade our library -- so we have absolutely NO business using ANY tax for a shopping mall!! After all the taxes we are forced to pay, who has money to shop??

....and still our government refuses to look at taxing porn at any level. Maybe it's because they are all a bunch of ..... never mind, I put them in office.

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