To the editor:
The governor has warned that the unanimous ruling of the judicial panel could lead to drastically higher property taxes for Kansans. (“Level of school funding ruled unconstitutional,” Journal-World, Jan. 12.).
The governor refuses to acknowledge that his tax policies are at the heart of the issue. He refuses to be accountable!
Let us be clear: It is the governor’s and the Legislature’s appropriation and taxation decisions, not the ruling of the court! The governor fails to acknowledge the solemn agreement he and members of the Legislature took to uphold the constitution and the laws of the state (words to that effect). The governor and the Legislature have deliberately and intentionally abrogated the constitution by refusing to provide funding consistent with making “suitable provisions for the finance” of public education, as required by law.
Gov. Brownback, not the courts, will be responsible for imposing higher property taxes, one of the most regressive forms of taxation. We must hold the governor and the legislators accountable for higher property taxes.
It is Gov. Brownback’s decisions not to provide state funding for schools, with the help of very “conservative” Republican legislators. These decisions are part and parcel of the fundamentally flawed restructuring of the Kansas tax code designed to impose drastic cuts, not just to education but to virtually all services needed by our most vulnerable citizens.
Surely, the unanimous ruling by the judicial panel is not a surprise to the governor. The court is merely holding the governor and the members of the Legislature accountable. That is the function of the courts!