Archive for Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Kansas House panel passes budget requiring tax increases

March 17, 2015, 12:17 p.m. Updated March 17, 2015, 10:19 p.m.


— A House budget panel endorsed a $6.4 billion budget plan Tuesday that doesn't balance without tax increases.

The budget approved by the House Appropriations Committee would fall about $133.6 million short if the Legislature does not increase taxes on alcohol and cigarettes as Republican Gov. Sam Brownback has recommended.

Republican Rep. Virgil Peck from Tyro was the only committee member to vote against the plan, saying he would not support a budget that increases spending without having secured the revenues to pay for it.

"I know in my own home or business, I don't go out and say, 'I'm going to spend X amount of dollars, now where am I going to get the money,'" Peck said.

Chairman and Republican Rep. Ron Ryckman of Olathe said approving the plan would help clarify how much additional revenue the state will need through new taxes.

"We kind of have a chicken-and-egg game going between us and the tax committee. We're going to give them a target," Ryckman said.

Both chambers have already approved the largest portion of the state budget by passing the governor's school funding overhaul. Brownback is expected to sign the plan later this week.

The House Appropriations Committee made a series of small changes to the budget bill, including setting aside as much as $3 million to bring in an outside firm to study government programs to find cost savings.

Republican Rep. Marvin Kleeb of Overland Park proposed the move, and said it would provide a high return on investment.

"If we can find efficiencies that mean that we're able to actually spread out more services to more people, then we have a win-win for the taxpayers as well as those who we are trying to serve," Kleeb said.

Kansas State University would also get an extra $3.7 million and be allowed it to raise $60 million in bonds for the renovation and expansion of Seton Hall under changes the committee made to the bill. Several lawmakers disagreed with the move, however.

Republican Rep. Amanda Grosserode of Lenexa said she opposed it because it would give the university an unequal share of roughly $30 million distributed to state universities each year for maintenance and repairs and would come at the expense of other state universities' budgets.

Republican Rep. Don Hill of Emporia said he supported the proposal because he believes more state money should be invested in education in general, but said it was a difficult decision in hard budget times.

"We're not in a position of abundance right now, we're in a position of great scarcity and therein lies the frustration and the dilemma that we have today," he said.


Phillip Chappuie 3 years, 3 months ago

"I know in my own home or business, I don't go out and say, 'I'm going to spend X amount of dollars, now where am I going to get the money,'" Peck said.

Uh, hey Virg, if all those exempt business had to pay income tax like all us wage earners we wouldn't be in this mess. Pretty simple. Yet simple minds refuse to grasp the concept. $3 million to find savings? The shell game continues. Like paying Laugher all the money to shame Brownback into the trickle down nonsense. You morons have slashed, gut and cut to the bone and now are going to blow off 3 million? You have lost your minds. I can find a start. Bill Virgil Peck for his plane ride unethically authorized to influence the vote.

Steve King 3 years, 3 months ago

Moronic. In my home or business I don't cut my revenue stream 25% then wine I can't pay my normal bills. Now gosh golly you're RAISING TAXES! But on who? Drinkers and smokers? Do those that don't imbibe get a free ride? Yeah that's fair. I'm guesding 2/3's of the state population is close to a state border they can cross. KCMO liquor and tobacco sales will soar. So we lose thst tax plus the cash for the purchase. I can see millions of Kansas dollars leaving the State and ending up in Missouri merchants pockets. Will we see stories about places that have to lay off staff due to declining sales? Well thought out plan Boys.

Plus you lied. Ain't nothing trickling down fellas. Read your lips: TAX INCREASE.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Reinstate all the taxes that were irresponsibly cut !

Larry Sturm 3 years, 3 months ago

Send Brownback to jail for defying constitutional funding laws ans reinstate taxes.

Greg Cooper 3 years, 3 months ago

This administration kind of reminds me of a Ping-Pong game. First someone throws out a law that is rebounded back to them because it doesn't work. Then they throw out fixes that are rebounded because they are illegal. Then they throw out a whole new law that doesn't have anything to do with the economic or job picture of the state, and it gets rebounded because it doesn't do what it was supposed to do.

For crying out loud, people, what is going on in Topeka? Are the few Republicans who are defying the "powers" too few to make a difference? Are we going to continue to be at the mercy of chairpersons who bend, break, or create new rules to make realistic legislation impossible?

This soap opera has to come to an end.

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