Archive for Monday, March 5, 2012

Republicans, Democrats duel again over property tax relief

March 5, 2012

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— House Democrats on Monday continued to push for property tax relief but got a cool reception from Republicans who control the Legislature.

"The time for this is now because our revenues are climbing back," House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence told the House Taxation Committee.

House Bill 2609 would apply $90 million over two years to the Local Ad Valorem Tax Reduction Fund, which was established in 1938, but which the Legislature had stopped funding in 2002 to help bridge state budget shortfalls.

State Rep. Scott Schwab, R-Olathe, asked Davis why Democrats had not proposed re-funding the LAVTRF during the administrations of Gov. Kathleen Sebelius and Mark Parkinson, both Democrats. Kansas' current Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, has a tax plan that calls for reducing the income tax rates.

"Sometimes, I wonder if it's policy or politics," Schwab said to Davis.

Davis said that with the state's severe budget problems during the recession, it would have been irresponsible to try to cut property taxes.

Other Republicans on the committee asked if Davis if the property tax cut was a higher priority than increasing funds to public schools.

Davis said the state was building up a $400 million reserve and that Democrats have called for increased funding of schools to offset cuts made in recent years. "I'd like to see us put some more dollars in our schools, and reduce the property tax burden as well. I don't think they are mutually exclusive," he said.

Last week, the House approved a $90 million cut in property taxes, but Republicans then reversed the action, saying that they had been tricked into voting for the proposal. The property tax amendment also killed an underlying bill that Republicans had wanted. Both measures are now back before the tax committee.

Comments

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 4 months ago

Rather than cutting taxes, why not:

1) Fix KPERS 2) Fix school funding 3) Fix university & community college funding 4) Give state employees their first raise in 5 years 5) Etc...

jhawkinsf 3 years, 4 months ago

So what you're really saying is that despite declines in the value of property, rather than have the taxes of property owners reflect that decline, you'd rather give that relief to state employees. Is that a fair analysis of your comment?

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 4 months ago

No. Please dont try to put words in my mouth.

My home value has declined too. As a result, I am already paying less in property taxes this year compared to last year even if the mill levy stays the same. I'm just saying that if the state has collected more revenues from all sources than it had projected that rather than cutting tax rates it should invest that surplus in areas that have been underfunded in recent years.

George_Braziller 3 years, 4 months ago

I was hoping my valuation would go down. I plan to live in my house until I drop dead so the final sale price doesn't really matter to me. The property taxes however are killing me.

The county valuation notice came in the mail today and it went up another $3,200. The county now claims it's worth 242% more than I paid for it in 1993.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 4 months ago

I think you really need a lesson in how property taxes are calculated. They are a function of both property value and the mill levy. When values decline, so do the taxes assessed unless the mill levy is raised which hardly ever happens.

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 4 months ago

The state did cut property taxes under Sebelius. It eliminated the property tax on business machinery and equipment.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 4 months ago

Why bother with the facts? Facts are just tools of elite snobs who want their children to get an education. Fox news doesn't bother with facts...making opinions up is so much easier...

Orwell 3 years, 4 months ago

As I get older I'm becoming a lot more concerned about my property tax bill than my state income tax liability. From what I read about senior issues I'm not alone. What, exactly, are the House Republicans thinking?

texburgh 3 years, 4 months ago

Last week the House passed the Democrats' property tax relief plan on a vote of 122-2 (the two no's were both Republicans). Over the weekend, I am sure that they got taken to the woodshed by Americans for Prosperity, the Kansas Policy Institute and the Koch boys for passing a tax relief bill that benefited the middle class. They returned from their break, reconsidered their action, and voted property tax relief down. Now they continue to fight against property tax relief in committee.

Meanwhile they passed an income tax elimination bill that will raise taxes on middle class and poor Kansans while providing a huge tax cut for the richest (those making over $250,000 per year). And yes, when you factor in all taxes, the middle class will pay more despite the reduction and eventual elimination of the income tax - and remember, the bulk of income tax is paid to the federal government and that is not eliminated - just your deduction for state taxes against your federal tax.

For Kansas Republicans life begins at conception and ends at birth. It starts up again when your income hits $250,000.

Charles L Bloss Jr 3 years, 4 months ago

Property taxes are really hurting retirees. We worked all our lives for our home, and we are being taxed out of it. I am a republican, but I side strongly with the democrats on this issue. Do away with the property tax entirely, and raise the sales tax so every one pays their fair share. Now property owners are being penalized for working hard to have a home.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 4 months ago

Tax reform is always about getting someone else to pay what you are currently paying. The GOP wants people with jobs to pay more. The democrats want the extremely wealthy to pay more. Sound like you should be a democrat.

kochmoney 3 years, 4 months ago

You realize that sales tax hikes would also hurt you as a retiree? The only tax that wouldn't hurt is income tax.

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