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Archive for Monday, May 20, 2013

Legislature makes no progress; Brownback leaves state to tout tax cuts

May 20, 2013

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— As the Kansas Legislature on Monday remained deadlocked over taxes and spending, Gov. Sam Brownback went to Chicago to tout his income tax cuts.

Speaking at a $40-per-plate luncheon put on by the Illinois Policy Institute, Brownback was focused on the tax cuts he signed into law last year, and his proposal to phase out the income tax entirely.

Brownback's absence from the Statehouse was trumpeted by his staff as an opportunity for the governor to try to lure businesses from Illinois to Kansas.

But Democrats, who have said Brownback's tax cuts have benefited mostly the wealthy and put state finances in jeopardy, criticized the Republican governor.

“Kansas taxpayers are already bearing the burden of the governor’s unfair tax plan. Now, they’re footing the bill for each day the Legislature continues to work on cleaning up Brownback’s mess — and he’s not even here to help," said Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka.

"The fact that he (Brownback) is out of state touting a plan that has wreaked havoc on Kansas is a pretty clear example of the governor’s misguided priorities and failed leadership," House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, said.

The event in Chicago was titled "There's no place like home. A conversation with Kansas Governor Sam Brownback."

The Illinois Policy Institute said Brownback "has proven to be an innovative reformer seeking to expand liberty in the Sunflower State." It noted that Brownback enacted the largest income tax cut in Kansas history and is seeking more cuts. Last year, Brownback signed into law cuts in income tax rates and eliminating income taxes paid by about 190,000 business owners. Brownback has said the cuts will boost the economy and produce jobs.

The Illinois Policy Institute describes itself as a nonpartisan organization dedicated to supporting free market principles and liberty-based public policy initiatives.

Meanwhile, back in Topeka, Brownback's tax policies were keeping legislators in session as House and Senate Republican leaders remained at an impasse.

On July 1, the 6.3 percent state sales tax is scheduled to decrease to 5.7 percent. But Brownback and Senate Republican leaders want to keep it at 6.3 percent, using the increased revenue to help balance the budget and buy down future income tax cuts.

House GOP leaders want the sales tax to fall to 5.7 percent, but have offered a 6 percent compromise. Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, has rejected that offer.

House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, said he was still awaiting a counteroffer from the Senate.

"It's hard to negotiate if there is not a counteroffer," Merrick said. He accused Senate leaders of switching positions on what should be agreed to first — taxes or a budget — and failing to put any offers in writing. "It's a disservice to the citizens of this state to operate like this," he said.

Wagle sent a two-page letter to all House Republicans, trying to persuade them to make permanent the 6.3 percent state sales tax.

Neither of the House-Senate conference committees on the budget or taxes met Monday, which was the 87th day of a legislative session that Wagle and Merrick had said earlier would be completed in 80 days.

On the budget side, the biggest difference between the House and Senate is on proposed cuts to higher education.

The House has called for a 4 percent cut, while the Senate wants a 2 percent cut.

The House's top budget writer, state Rep. Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said he believed the two sides would agree to a cut between those two figures, but he declined to elaborate.

Comments

mikekt 11 months ago

Has anyone noticed a pattern here ?

In the US Senate while Bush was running this country aground, financially .

Shows up here and does the same tax hockus pockus as went on in the Bush Era in Washington, D.C. .

Obviously, he is still expecting the same results that Bush was expecting & the wise know where that one went !!!

Like Bush, Brownie found a choir to pitch it to .

Since his audience is starting to wake up to reality, he is now off to find the next group of suckers who can't seem to see the future tax shifting, coming soon to a theater near themselves .

1

Nani700 11 months ago

If there is no place like home, why are you awol, Governor(?)? You could be home working on this crisis YOU have put this state in. Well on second thought, just stay away, far, far away.

2

Frank Smith 11 months ago

All roads lead to Koch.

The Illinois Policy Institute is largely a creation of David H. and Charles de Ganahl Koch, the brothers of whom Brownback is a wholly owned subsidiary.

It gets money, "partnership" and other support from from the Donors Trust, the Claude R. Lambe Foundation, the American Legislative Exchange Council, the Franklin Foundation, etc., etc.

Go to the Sourcewatch website for more info on Sam and the brothers.

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Slowponder 11 months ago

$40 a plate in Chicago? Inquiring minds want to know the menu. White bread and lo-cal water?

2

anotherview 11 months ago

Koch Fertilizer, LLC announced that it will build a $1 billion dollar fertilizer plant in Oklahoma. It is expected to create 500 to 800 construction jobs for over two years and 30 to 50 employees to operate the plant.

Since this company is organized as an LLC, any owners of this plant that live in Kansas will not have to pay Kansas income tax on the companies profits. Looks like Brownbacks new tax law, to not tax LLC, needs to be amended to require these types of businesses to at least be located in Kansas.

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thinkb4utype 11 months ago

So let me get this straight... first Hensley and Davis criticize Brownback for being involved in the negotiations and now they're critical of him doing his job to recruit new businesses and jobs to Kansas... have any of you paid attention to what's going on in Illinois??? They have an unemployment rate of more than 9% and have dramatically increased taxes on businesses... that state is ripe for a business exodus ....

also, this will date me but i recall former Gov Sebelius leaving the state for a political fundraiser during the special session she called for school funding.... how did Hensley and Davis feel about her skipping town during that state crisis???

0

toe 11 months ago

Cutting higher ed seems assured. Ths should help to built resistance in Lawrence to higher taxes as all the government workers on the hill will feel pinched.

4

JayhawkFan1985 11 months ago

Brownbackward in Kansas...and soon it seems Illinois will be brownbackward too.

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kansas_cynic 11 months ago

Scariest thing is this idiot governor believes all the lies the Koch's and ALEC feed him. Worse yet is the idiot tea baggers will re-elect him.

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James Nelson 11 months ago

Hurry up and barricade all border highways so the SOB can't get back in. There's no telling what lies he told in Chicago.

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Larry Sturm 11 months ago

Brownback and the legislature need to get off of the Kock Bros. and ALEC payrole we don't need a dictatorship.

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bad_dog 11 months ago

"There's no place like home. A conversation with Kansas Governor Sam Brownback."

That title was as about as tired as Gov. B's failing budget and taxation policies.

From the article, what's funnier?

a) Brownback's absence from the Statehouse was trumpeted by his staff as an opportunity for the governor to try to lure businesses from Illinois to Kansas.

b) The Illinois Policy Institute said Brownback "has proven to be an innovative reformer seeking to expand liberty in the Sunflower State."

c) The Illinois Policy Institute describes itself as a nonpartisan organization.

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George_Braziller 11 months ago

Brownback is a disaster as Governor. End of story.

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