To the editor:
The 2013 base state aid per pupil was 64 percent of what it was in 1992, adjusted for inflation. The governor’s proposal for 2015 would raise it by $14. Inflation in 2013 was 1.47 percent, requiring an increase of $56.
As schools are being starved for funds, the Legislature enacted tax law changes in 2012 and 2013 which reduce state revenue by $1,589 million over the next two years, with a projected deficit of $312 million. Included in these tax changes were provisions I doubt most voting Kansans are aware of.
Sole proprietors, partners and others now pay no tax on their earnings, while their employees pay on their wages. The justification is that these businesses create jobs. As a CPA, I never had a client tell me he was not going to hire an employee because he would have to pay income tax on the resulting profit. I often had clients tell me they were unable to find employees with the necessary education.
So what outcomes can we expect from this underfunding of our schools? We will have higher property taxes, fewer teachers, larger classes, fewer academic choices and deteriorating facilities.
As a Republican, I thought I belonged to the party of fiscal responsibility. Fiscal responsibility, however, includes meeting your obligations. When cutting taxes becomes the holy grail at the cost of providing basic governmental services, Republicanism has lost its way. I would urge voters to contact their legislators and encourage them to repeal these laws and meet their commitments.