Archive for Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Statehouse Live: Attempt to repeal state sales tax increase in the works

November 9, 2010, 2:32 p.m. Updated November 9, 2010, 4:17 p.m.


— Emboldened by last week's election gains, Republicans in the Kansas House who lost a bid to stop the state sales tax increase say it's time for a rematch.

Rep. Owen Donohoe, R-Shawnee, is contacting his fellow Republican House members to gauge their thoughts on what they want to do when the legislative session starts in January.

One of Donohoe's top priorities, he said, is repealing the tax increase that went into effect July 1.

“I think there will be a vote,” Donohoe said Tuesday. The issue of taxes will be debated in the House, “and someone is going to bring up an amendment to repeal it. Whether it's successful, I don't know.”

During the last legislative session, a bi-partisan coalition of mostly Democrats in the House approved the tax increase by a 64-61 vote.

But in last week's election, Republicans made historic gains, going from a 76-49 advantage to a 92-33 margin. Many of the new Republicans campaigned on a pledge to shrink government and lower taxes.

Gov.-elect Sam Brownback, a Republican, said he wants to hold down taxes, but has said he doesn't support repealing the sales tax increase.

“We need to hold our taxes down. I’m not proposing new taxes. I’ve not proposed taking the 1-cent sales tax off,” Brownback said.

In his letter, Donohoe states, “As you know, Gov.-elect Brownback has a legislative agenda but it may not be as conservative as we wish.”

The state sales tax increased from 5.3 cents per $1 to 6.3 cents per $1 and then is scheduled to decrease to 5.7 cents per $1 after three years.

Opponents of the increase said it would hurt taxpayers and the economy. But supporters said the increase was necessary to avoid permanent damage to schools, social services and public safety, which were targeted in several rounds of state budget cuts.

Donohoe said the reason for his letter to GOP members was to map out a Republican platform for the next session and ask Republican legislators who are running for leadership positions in the House where they stand on that platform.

“I want to know definitively where everyone is at, who is running for leadership,” he said, adding that he was not a candidate for a leadership post.

Donohoe said his other priorities are enacting tougher abortion regulations, auditing school districts, reducing the number of state employees and requiring identification to vote.

Eliminating the sales tax increase would create a $300 million revenue hole on top of what is estimated to be a $500 million hole when federal stimulus money runs out.

But Donohoe said cutting the tax will improve the economy by causing more businesses to locate in Kansas, which he said will benefit the state's revenue picture in the long run.


Centerville 7 years, 7 months ago

Five of the Democrats on the House Taxation Committee (who, naturally, voted to raise taxes) were opposed in the general election. All five Democrats lost.
Is there a message somewhere in there?

oldvet 7 years, 7 months ago

By this time we have already absorbed this sales tax increase... leave it in place, the more you spend, the more you pay. Share the pain...

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

The tax increase won't be repealed. The last thing Brownback wants to deal with is having the state government grind to a halt just as he's trying to shift more of the tax burden away from the wealthy by decreasing the income tax, and shifting it to the lower 80% by making permanent the recent sales tax increase.

fan4kufootball 7 years, 7 months ago

The problem is that the sales tax rate increase is going to catch up with us. Think about it. Everything we purchase - food, clothing, etc is all 1% higher. Now take what your family spends in one year on those items and figure out how much more your paying in sales tax. Now think about what you have done without by paying that additional sales tax......

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 7 years, 7 months ago

True enough, but this is of no concern to the Koch Brothers, and so, of no concern to Brownback. The repeal of this sales tax increase will not happen.

BigDog 7 years, 7 months ago

For those who want to remove the statewide sales tax increase ....... Tell me where you are going to cut the $250-$300million that is generated by the sales tax increase ..... on top of the $500 million that the state is already short.

I am not a fan of taxes either but have seen the nearly $1 billion in major cuts over the last several years. I also don't know where you can cut another $800 million a year in the state budget without shutting down things like prisons and universities. Really don't think those would fly either.

jafs 7 years, 7 months ago

This is the main problem with Brownback's plan (the little bit of it that we know so far) - he claims to want to cut taxes, balance the budget, and so far has indicated no spending cuts, and promises to "protect" education and social service funding.

It sounds impossible to me.

What's he planning to cut?

Shane Garrett 7 years, 7 months ago

Maybe Kansas should return to a prison farm system. The prison system could be money maker instead of a tax dollar burden. Child molesters could get "hard" time. Drug dealers could be use to grow hemp for raw materials. Those charged with B&E could clean out chicken houses. Why let them lay around all day watching the HLN.

getreal 7 years, 7 months ago

Brownback is not about to repeal the sales tax, instead he will repeal the estate tax and corporate income tax. The regular working stiffs that voted for these people are about to learn a very difficult lesson. The Republican party could care less about you, they only care about those who can line their campaign coffers!

Robert Marble 7 years, 7 months ago

no sales tax here in oregon but the state budget is equally totos should get with the program

Bob_Keeshan 7 years, 7 months ago

And Texas has no income tax.

Kansas should follow the lead of both Texas and Oregon.

getreal 7 years, 7 months ago

BABBOY - Brownback is most certainly mentioned as NOT wanting to repeal the 1% tax. So perhaps you should re-read the article. The crazies in the Kansas House can pass anything they want, but the Republs in the Senate will shut down whatever Brownback asks them to so he won't have to Veto a repeal of the sales tax. He will offer up all the social issues to back away from the fiscal policies they all ran on. Get back with me in May and we'll see if I'm right.

MyName 7 years, 7 months ago

WTF? Are we in a land of make believe where legislators can now use their wish power to make a revenue cut turn into a revenue gain "over time". The tax increase has a sunset clause on it anyways, so "over time" this will be a non-issue.

Frank Smith 7 years, 7 months ago

"Bozo's" right. Brownback would only favor regressive taxes. The state sales tax won't hurt David H. (who lives mainly in NYC) and Charles de Ganahl from Wichita. They don't want to pay their fair share and have bought enough federal and state legislators to make their dreams come true.

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