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Archive for Thursday, February 23, 2012

Democrats get Republicans to join in property tax relief proposal

February 23, 2012

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— Kansas Democrats succeeded Thursday in getting approval of $90 million in property tax reductions as Republicans jumped on board the plan after first turning up their noses at it.

"We cut $90 million in property taxes. That's a win-win for everybody," said state Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wiichita.

But any bi-partisan spirit quickly soured when several Republicans in the GOP-controlled House said the felt they had been tricked by Ward.

Ward offered his proposal as an amendment to a bill highly prized by Republicans — House Bill 2212, which would restrict property tax increases if overall property valuations increased.

During debate, House Majority Leader Arlen Siegfreid, R-Olathe, told Republicans "to go ahead and vote for this amendment and provide that little bit of relief for local counties." Siegfried added, "The underlying bill will actually solve the problem of the creep in property taxes."

Republicans flocked to the proposal and the measure was approved 122-2.

But later, Republicans discovered that Ward's amendment was actually a "gut and go," meaning that it eliminated the underlying bill.

State Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, the sponsor of the underlying bill, wasn't happy about that. "You expect collegiality and forthrightness," Brunk said. "In this case, unfortunately that didn't happen."

When explaining his amendment to the House, Ward did not say it was a "gut and go." When asked why, Ward said because no one asked him.

"There was no trickery. I took the underlying bill out and replaced it with a clean vote on tax relief," Ward said.

He said veteran legislators, such as Brunk and Siegfreid, should have realized what his amendment did.

Brunk said legislators are expected to fully explain the substance of their amendments. Now the bill goes to the Senate for consideration.

The proposal would provide $45 million for each of the next two fiscal years to local governments for reductions in the local property tax rate. Douglas County would receive approximately $3.5 million in total.

"Property taxes have increased 65 percent over the last decade, while incomes have either remained stagnant or declined," said House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence. "We are pleased that House Republicans acknowledged the need to address the rising property tax crisis in Kansas,".

Just two days earlier, the Republican-controlled House defeated a plan by Democrats to provide $45 million in property tax relief.

What happens next on taxes is up in the air.

Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, and House GOP leaders have proposed differing plans on cutting state income taxes. Both proposals, however, would increase the tax liability for low-income Kansans. Critics of the plans also say they would limit revenues needed to provide essential state services.

Comments

meggers 2 years, 1 month ago

I applaud the democrats in the legislature for trying to do the right thing, but I doubt it will be enough to offset the property tax increases that will be needed to fund education under Brownback's plan.

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seriouscat 2 years, 1 month ago

Well played dems. Well played indeed : 0)

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bad_dog 2 years, 1 month ago

"Brunk said legislators are expected to fully explain the substance of their amendments."

Nice try at shifting the burden of personal responsibility. How about legislators understand the implications of what they vote on? Either that or point the finger at the leadership that told their members "to go ahead and vote for this amendment."

Nah, they got duped-just when they were starting to trust those Democrats they've been kicking all session.

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WilburM 2 years, 1 month ago

Let's see. Property taxes re rising, even as home values are falling. The Legislature, with a huge bipartisan majority, cuts property taxes, although some Rs may be confused (poor souls) about what they are voting on.

What is the problem here? Who is being played? You want to keep property taxes high? Good grief!

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headdoctor 2 years, 1 month ago

That is an easy one. With a prostitute it is the literal act the purchaser ask for, paid for, and received. With politicians it is an unwilling purchaser getting the money stripped from them anyway, and receiving a figurative act they never ask for.

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Jayhawker07 2 years, 1 month ago

Interesting question: What is the difference between a prostitute and a politician?

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Jayhawker07 2 years, 1 month ago

Passed WHAT? Smoke and mirrors again. At least we have pretty boys doing all the talking. Love you boys. Keep dancing on the poles, you will always have my vote (ohh you need another doller XXXXXX, sweet, thanks for your services honeybun). When will we the general public be able to have our side represented? Funny how once we vote them into office they change there ways, just saying.

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JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 1 month ago

The GOP reminds me of a herd of buffalo stampeding over the edge of a cliff. Let's pray they implode in Kansas just like they are at the national level.

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Greg Cooper 2 years, 1 month ago

Isn't it one of our revered posters who constantly reminds us that (untruthfully) Ms. pelosi was to have stated that we need to pass a bill to see what's in it? Looks as if that really happened here, and it couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch of folks.

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parrothead8 2 years, 1 month ago

Good to know these guys read what they're supposed to be voting on.

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