Archive for Wednesday, February 29, 2012

House Republicans change course on measure providing property tax relief

February 29, 2012


— House Republicans on Wednesday reversed field and voted against a measure providing $90 million in property tax relief, alleging they were tricked into voting for it.

And one House Republican, state Rep. Owen Donohoe of Shawnee, said he would bring a motion of censure against state Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, whose property tax relief amendment was approved last week.

But Democrats scoffed at the Republican allegations. House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, asked "Why do Republicans have to be `tricked' into supporting property tax cuts?"

Ward said he didn't trick anybody and described Donohoe as a "cranky, old man."

The dispute centered on Thursday's vote when the House approved 122-2 a measure by Ward to cut property taxes by $90 million over two years.

Ward presented his proposal as an amendment during debate of House Bill 2212, which was supported by Republicans and would restrict property tax increases if overall property valuations increased.

During debate, Republican leaders, who control the House, told GOP members to vote for Ward's amendment because it was the underlying bill they really wanted.

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

On Wednesday, Republicans met in caucus and vented their frustration over the turn of events.

House Majority Leader Arlen Siegfreid, R-Olathe, and Rep. Steve Brunk, R-Wichita, and others apologized to the caucus for not knowing what Ward's amendment did. But they also accused Ward of not being forthright during debate.

"We obviously put our trust where we should never have put our trust," said Siegfreid.

Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, said he felt like a running back who missed a blitzing linebacker. "I've been disgusted ever since," he said.

Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, said Ward lied about his amendment, and Rep. Jana Goodman, R-Leavenworth, said perhaps Republicans should vote `No' whenever a Democrat proposes an amendment to a bill.

House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, said the incident should serve as a warning to all legislators to know what the bills are about. "Thursday, it was a Democrat. It could just as easily be a Republican," O'Neal said.

After the caucus meeting, Republicans returned to the House and voted to reconsider the bill, and then voted against the bill. Republicans said that a similar bill that includes the underlying bill and Ward amendment will be reconstructed and considered in the House tax committee.

Meanwhile, Ward denied he tried to deceive Republicans. And, he said, the Republican vote on Wednesday essentially "took away $90 million in property tax cuts."


Bob_Keeshan 2 years, 1 month ago

Dave Trabert either doesn't understand taxation or hates the free market. Oops, turns out the answer is "both".

When the price of a price of a product goes up, due to market factors, the sales tax collected goes up. When earnings increase, due to market factors, the income tax collected goes up.

When property values increase, due to market factors, the property tax collected goes up. The underlying bill calls that "unfair" because the underlying bill is anti-free market.


ShePrecedes 2 years, 1 month ago

Hey, the next thing they will cry about is that we all remember when it was suggested that ilegal immigrants be picked off with rifles while flying in helicopters.

Or that all their candidates sign some strange code to support all GOP candidates when that is not really what is happening within the party itself, a party totally fractured by the questionable antics of gun-toting, porn-addicted, alcohol-saturated, woman-hating Religious Rite..

These GOP, real a moral characters!!!


ShePrecedes 2 years, 1 month ago

The GOP has become so dammed brainless, you would think they have been abortion refuse.


ShePrecedes 2 years, 1 month ago

OH that just makes me laugh,

The GOP gets their tights twisted over Tricky tailing off of Taxes on tracts and titles.

I mean to tell you, these anti-tax GOP boo-hooing because they were tricked into lowering property taxes, an issue that is often in their own platforms.


Tracy Rogers 2 years, 1 month ago

I know I'm not voting for anyone with an (I) by their name this November. I'd suggest more people do the same.


JackMcKee 2 years, 1 month ago

Just another day in the life of the typical Kansas House Republican.


Jan Rolls 2 years, 1 month ago

Can you read this without any help? We are idiots.


yourworstnightmare 2 years, 1 month ago

This censure resolution just highlights how embarrassed many in the GOP are over this comedy.

They should be embarrassed.


yourworstnightmare 2 years, 1 month ago

So, the GOP want to censure Ward for introducing an amendment that they voted for without actually reading it? Priceless.


Jim Williamson 2 years, 1 month ago

"House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, said the incident should serve as a warning to all legislators to know what the bills are about. 'Thursday, it was a Democrat. It could just as easily be a Republican,' O'Neal said."

What a reasonable thing to say. WHO ARE YOU, AND WHAT HAVE YOU DONE WITH THE REAL MIKE O'NEAL???


autie 2 years, 1 month ago


all kansans don't pay property taxes. How are those that don't own property being "relieved"?

You don't have to own property to pay property tax. All you have to do is pay rent.


Liberty275 2 years, 1 month ago

A sleazy move by the the left and a dumb and lazy move by the right. Is this what we are paying for?


Laura Wilson 2 years, 1 month ago

I'd really like my legislators to know how to read. Apparently none of the Republicans can. They can't take the time to read a two page amendment before voting?!


jafs 2 years, 1 month ago

I'm curious about how this works - they voted for it, and it passed, and now they vote against it, and overturn their previous decision?

Isn't the original vote binding?


Echoes 2 years, 1 month ago

This is almost funny. This nearly unanimously passed bill tricked our state house of representatives. It is plain to see that none of them actually think for themselves. I think we should see some relief in our property taxes, leave income taxes alone for now. The working poor and middle class will see more benefits from property tax relief than an increase in income tax.
If exempting the wealthy from taxes or tipping the field against the middle class and working poor really created jobs, we’d be awash in well-paying jobs. Most of the politicians voting for this income tax “reform” are going to see personal gain from the taxes they are cutting. They have already demonstrated that they don’t have the wherewithal to read a bill and think for on their own. Too bad for us regular people that they are supposed to represent.
As a lifelong registered Republican, I am disappointed in the entire state Republican Party. I sorely regret voting for Brownback, I was hoping for someone a little less, well, less zealous, radical, extreme, (you get the idea). I will not make that mistake again.
When I go to the polls to vote for the people in the State House, there is no real choice to make in my rural district. The Republicans either run unopposed or the Democrat is so weak that they don’t have much of a chance. It is not good to have a one party government which we are stuck with by default.


Dave Trabert 2 years, 1 month ago

Rep. Ward's amendment was nothing more than a shifting of tax burden. Giving local government money to pass on in the form of lower property tax means that money is either not available for other state services or is unnecessarily extracted from taxpayers. Further, there is nothing to prevent local government from raising mill rates back up with higher local budgets...even in the same year.

The only true beneficiary of that amendment would be the politicians who would be able to say they voted for property tax relief in the next election campaign. Of course, anyone who was truly interested in property tax reform would never strip away or vote against the original measure that simply would have forced government to be honest about how much taxes were going up.


yourworstnightmare 2 years, 1 month ago

This is just too much fun.

Republicans are told by their "leaders" to vote, and they do so in lock step without even glancing at the bill on which they are casting a vote.

122-2 was the house vote. At best, only two republicans might have actually read the bill and voted against it.

Further evidence that the Kansas legislature is composed of a bunch of lazy lightweights who would rather scream about social issues than actually legislate.

How embarrassing for the Kansas GOP.


tolawdjk 2 years, 1 month ago

I saw a copy of Ward's Bill.

It said "Isthay utsgay ethay ringinaloay illbay".

People can't be blamed for no knowing a fer'in language.

I propose that all legislation be henceforth presenting in crayola. And not that Socialistic "64" box either with its "Ochre" and "Coneflower". Plain Jane "8" is enough without that alternate lifestyle "pink" either.


Roland Gunslinger 2 years, 1 month ago

So Republicans are NOT in favor of cutting taxes. Noted.


WilburM 2 years, 1 month ago

Who knew legislative politics could be so entertaining? You'd think someone could actually read a bill, but that Rep. Ward is just so darned clever, he just beguiled them with a $90M cut. Great that they finally got it "right."


downriverdan 2 years, 1 month ago

So they raised property taxes by 90 million dollars. It is what Republicans do best tax and spend.


Jan Rolls 2 years, 1 month ago

Confirms it most republicans are idiots and couldn't find their rear end with both hands tied behind their backs. Meanwhile stick it to the property owners.


BigDog 2 years, 1 month ago

What a piss poor excuse by Republicans? Don't tell me you couldn't understand the amendment ..... it is two pages long ..... the first lines of the amendment says something to the effect of "striking lines 7-34" and adding ...... ohhhh man that is complicated.

Speaker Mike O'Neal and leadership was not bright enough to review the amendment .... it takes like 5 minutes. Way to go .... Kansas should be proud of House leadership. What else is going into law that they aren't reading.

And before ripping me on this .... I am a Republican and spent 14 sessions as a lobbyist. This was a level 101 mistake by the whole bunch if that is their defense. Stop following blindly what they are telling you.


question4u 2 years, 1 month ago

"Rep. Virgil Peck, R-Tyro, said ... 'I've been disgusted ever since'" and "House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, said the incident should serve as a warning to all legislators to know what the bills are about."

The world is turning upside down. Virgil "Murder 'em from Helicopters" Peck finally found SOMETHING that disgusted him! Mike O'Neal actually sounded like the voice of reason! What's next? Will Brownback come up with an idea that's good for Kansas? Is this the end of everything that we've come to expect?

Maybe not. After all, there's Rep. Jana Goodman's childish and very predictable response: "perhaps Republicans should vote `No' whenever a Democrat proposes an amendment to a bill." To be fair, it's much easier for House Republicans to follow that advice than to than to actually read bills before they vote on them.


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