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Archive for Thursday, February 16, 2012

Highway interests in Kansas try to run GOP tax plan off the road

Contractors, cities and counties on Thursday tried to slam the brakes on a proposal by House Republican leaders that would divert $350 million in highway funds to pay for a cut in the state income tax.

Contractors, cities and counties on Thursday tried to slam the brakes on a proposal by House Republican leaders that would divert $350 million in highway funds to pay for a cut in the state income tax.

February 16, 2012

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Contractors, cities and counties on Thursday tried to slam the brakes on a proposal by House Republican leaders that would divert $350 million in highway funds to pay for a cut in the state income tax.

“Now is not the time to take more money from transportation funding,” said Charlie Sedlock, representing the highway building company Hamm Inc.

“Right now, construction prices are low and the state is getting an outstanding value for each dollar spent on highway projects, and thus, it is not the right time to cut highway funding for some type of income tax savings,” he said in testimony to the House Taxation Committee.

The committee has been taking comment on the plan that would reduce income tax rates. House GOP leaders touted it as an alternative to Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal to reduce income taxes.

Brownback’s plan would also eliminate many tax credits and deductions and keep in place the 6.3 percent state sales tax rate, which under current law is set to decrease to 5.7 percent next year.

The House Republican leadership plan keeps in the place the credits and deductions and allows the sales tax to decrease.

But to make up the revenue to buy down the income tax cut, it would divert $350 million from the state’s comprehensive transportation program.

“This plan allows Kansas to continue to invest in quality roads while putting money back into the pockets of hardworking Kansans,” a statement for House Republican leaders said.

But the proposal has produced road rage. “The bill will delay economic development and job creation at a time when Kansas desperately needs both,” said Julie Lorenz, chief executive of Economic Lifelines, a coalition of transportation groups.

A promise to restore the diverted funds over seven years was met with skepticism by advocates, who noted that transportation funds have been used in the past to balance the state budget, including $200 million last year.

Another part of the House GOP plan was also criticized. It would cut in half the Earned Income Tax Credit, which helps low-income Kansans. Brownback’s plan eliminated it altogether.

Kansas Action for Children said eliminating or reducing the EITC would hurt working families.

Comments

Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 10 months ago

Kansas road builders blast House income tax reduction proposal

“There has got to be a better way to reduce personal and corporate income taxes than taking it out of highway construction,” said Brian Hansen, of Dustrol Inc., a major state highway contractor in Towanda.

“Kansas legislators in the last 20 years of highway programs already have ‘borrowed’ more than $1.5 billion, which they’ve never paid back,” Hansen said. “This would decimate our business

http://statehousenewsonline.com/2012/02/14/road-builders-blast-a-ks-house-tax-reduction-plan/?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=twitter

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

awesome....the gop affecting the slt....and they don't even realize it....how republican of them.....details don't matter when one doesn't think,

WilburNether 2 years, 10 months ago

Could you restate that in a coherent manner? See, when you write incoherently, it makes people think the author is a fool.

nut_case 2 years, 10 months ago

They are wasting so much money on roads right now, it's ridiculous. Just in the Lawrence / Topeka area they have torn out several good exit ramps and replaced with round-a-bouts. They tore out a perfectly good service station between Lawrence and Topeka - it was conveniently located between the east and west bound lanes. They replaced it with one to the north of all lanes which required building and maintaining THREE MORE bridges just to get to it!

Use some of the money to keep the roads paved and smooth and give the rest back to the people - quit wasting it on senseless building simply because you can.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 10 months ago

We've already learned that any fool can have an opinion. You're the best example of that.

First, the Kansas turnpike authority (KTA) is not part of KDOT. It is an independent agency operated solely with toll revenue. No gas tax or other tax dollars are used on turnpike projects.

Second, KDOT and KTA jointly reconstructed the east Topeka toll plaza over 10 years ago. The original toll plaza was not working well due to substantial increases in traffic that could not have been anticipated in the late 1950s or early 1960s. This was a joint project because KDOT is responsible for I70 west of this interchange whereas KTA is responsible for I70 east of there and I335 west of there. The new interchange was moved east of the old rest stop. The KTA knows its customers and wanted the rest stop east of the interchange so it could meet the needs of the traveling public. Personally, I like the design of the rest stops in the middle, but too many drivers aren't comfortable with exits on the inside/left hand side lane. driver expectancy is an important concept in traffic engineering and highway design.

Third, as far as how any state employee spends their work day, you don't know what the heck you're talking about. You spend too much time buying into the Koch brothers and Brownback propaganda that the public sector doesn't know what it's doing. Kansas has the best highways in the united states. This has more to do with the caliber of work of KDOT employees than it does with leadership from Brownback, the legislature or right wing nuts like you. You contribute nothing but hate, fear, and ignorance. You need to educate yourself on a topic before shooting your mouth off sport.

KS 2 years, 10 months ago

nut_case - If you can't handle a freaking "round-a-bout", you are exactly what your name implies. Get over it! Typical Lawrence liberal. Comments like yours are what gives this town a bad name.

JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 10 months ago

Nut case is actually a very conservative nut based on this and other posts he's made.

TinmanKC 2 years, 10 months ago

The exit ramps/roundabouts and the service station you speak of are part of the Kansas Turnpike - which is NOT funded by state taxes. It is funded by tolls.

wastewatcher 2 years, 10 months ago

Highway funding by taxes or tolls, either it is government waste. Also notice how the contractors are worrying about themselves. They make a ton of money and spread it around to their political friends so they can keep raking in the dollars.

kochmoney 2 years, 10 months ago

Yes. Let's make sure we have nothing but potholes between Colorado and Missouri. That'll make sure businesses want to build here!

wastewatcher 2 years, 10 months ago

Highway funding by taxes or tolls, either it is government waste. Also notice how the contractors are worrying about themselves. They make a ton of money and spread it around to their political friends so they can keep raking in the dollars.

Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 10 months ago

Brownbacks Road Plan covered wagons, we don't need them paved roads anymore.

pace 2 years, 10 months ago

So you don't know that quite of bit of those fuel taxes have already been looted and used as a slush fund. B plans to tap into those funds to cover the cost of reducing the income tax. So you are rich, please don't move back here gloating that you won't pay your share of the maintenance, expecting the working people to carry your water. A dead beat is a dead beat. It is not a privilege for the worker families to carry you. You should pay your fair share of taxes.

Getaroom 2 years, 10 months ago

Of course, Brownback will do anything to keep putting more dollars back into the deep pockets of his already wealthy buddies, The Supreme Kochs' and others. Never forget the continuous GOP Lie Machine that the Super Wealthy are the job creators and that taxing them further will be a "job killer"! Historically, that is absolutely untrue. All this in an effort to end state taxes. My oh my, and where will those needed dollars come from anyway - Heaven?

So, if it is Brownback's intention to further destroy the infrastructure of our already "weather challenged" Kansas highway system to further his personal political agenda, all travelers will suffer, no question about it and from border to border. Putting aside the irrelevant myopic comments here about road funds waste and round-a-bouts, this idea of diverting highway funds makes no sense at all. Of course contractors are worried, what do you expect? JOBS and INCOME. Get it! Where are all the jobs promised by this Religious Fundamentalist GOP leader anyway. Nowhere to be found is where those jobs are. Why anyone thinks religious beliefs should have anything to do with qualifying anyone to be ideal for governance is absurd. Now Romney is vying to be an "extreme conservative" to out do "Fish Fridays' Santorum".
Do you think if one of these sociopaths' became President they would cut funding for the interstate highways to give more wealth back into the pockets of the .02 %? They might if GOD told them to do it. And with your "GOD As My Copilot" and "Baby on Board" stickers in place, just try to avoid the axle busting pot holes on your way out of town or state. Good luck!!

pace 2 years, 10 months ago

You might not need good roads, but farmers, industry, almost all real people doing business, going to work, selling products, need good roads. Good roads reduce the cost of products in the stores, like food. Good roads reduce accidents. Reducing Billionaire taxes won't create as many jobs as the businesses hurt from poor could produce. Rebuilding infrastructure is more expensive then keeping infrastructure in shape. We need jobs not graft tax cuts for the falsely name "job creators". Reducing billionaire taxes at the expense of the education of the general population, reducing billionaire's taxes at the expense of roads , reducing Koch's taxes at the expense of the poor, elderly and the ill access to health care is just inhumane.

JackMcKee 2 years, 10 months ago

nothing brings business and people running to move to a state quite like bad roads and schools.

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