Archive for Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Lawmakers override Brownback veto of tax overhaul

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback speaks to reporters Monday, June 5, 2017, at the Statehouse in Topeka.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback speaks to reporters Monday, June 5, 2017, at the Statehouse in Topeka.

June 6, 2017, 2:08 p.m. Updated June 6, 2017, 9:54 p.m.

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Topeka — The Kansas Legislature on Tuesday overrode Gov. Sam Brownback’s veto of a tax bill that reverses course on the signature tax cuts that he championed in 2012, dealing a significant blow to his legacy as governor, but paving the way for lawmakers to end a near-record long session.

Brownback vetoed the bill Tuesday afternoon, less than 24 hours after it had cleared the Senate.

“I appreciate the efforts of members during this intense lawmaking process,” Brownback said in a statement that his communications office posted on social media. “We have worked hard in Kansas to move our tax policy toward a pro-growth orientation. Unfortunately, Senate Bill 30 takes us backward in that effort. We can and we must balance our budget without negatively harming Kansas families.”

A few hours later, the Senate voted, 27-13, to override the veto, sending the bill to the House, which voted, 88-31, to override.

Kansas state Reps. Troy Waymaster, left, R-Bunker Hill, and Russ Jennings, R-Lakin, confer before the House's debate on overriding Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a bill increasing income taxes to fix the state budget, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Topeka, Kan. Both Jennings and Waymaster, the House Appropriations Committee chairman, voted to override. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

Kansas state Reps. Troy Waymaster, left, R-Bunker Hill, and Russ Jennings, R-Lakin, confer before the House's debate on overriding Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a bill increasing income taxes to fix the state budget, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Topeka, Kan. Both Jennings and Waymaster, the House Appropriations Committee chairman, voted to override. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

The bill, which budget officials estimate will bring in more than $1.2 billion over the next two years, will enable the state to pay for the school finance overhaul that lawmakers also passed on Monday and avert the need for major spending cuts in other areas of government such as higher education, Medicaid and other social services.

To do that, however, the bill repeals many of the key parts of Brownback’s tax plan, which drew national attention when it was passed in 2012.

It repeals the exemption on non-wage business income that allows more than 330,000 farmers and business owners to pay no state income taxes. It also repeals the so-called “glide path to zero” formula that was intended to phase out state income taxes completely over time.

It also puts back in place a three-tiered income tax system and raises individual rates across the board. But it puts back in place many popular deductions and tax credits that benefit lower and middle-income wage earners, including the child care tax credit.

Brownback had promised that the tax cuts would be “like a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy.” But since they were enacted, job growth and economic expansion in Kansas has lagged behind the rest of the nation.

Meanwhile, the state has been in a near-constant state of revenue shortfalls that have forced cutbacks in higher education funding, Medicaid and state highway spending, while also resulting in two downgrades of the state’s credit rating.

Kansas state Rep. K.C. Ohaebosim, left, D-Wichita, makes a point in a conversation with Rep. Boog Highberger, right, D-Lawrence, before a House vote on overriding Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a tax increase to fix the state budget, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Topeka, Kan. Legislators have overridden the veto, and Ohaebosim and Highberger supported the effort. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

Kansas state Rep. K.C. Ohaebosim, left, D-Wichita, makes a point in a conversation with Rep. Boog Highberger, right, D-Lawrence, before a House vote on overriding Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's veto of a tax increase to fix the state budget, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Topeka, Kan. Legislators have overridden the veto, and Ohaebosim and Highberger supported the effort. (AP Photo/John Hanna)

Conservatives in both chambers argued that the budget shortfalls could have been addressed by cutting state spending.

“We’re adding hundreds of millions … of brand new spending in a deficit situation,” said Sen. Ty Masterson, R-Andover. “Unnecessarily and artificially expanding the deficit so somehow the people of this state will think we’re doing the right thing by imposing $1 billion worth of taxes on them. It’s been shown that does not have to be the case.”

Masterson is one of the leaders of a group of conservatives who call themselves the Truth Caucus. They proposed a budget that they said could have been balanced by eliminating all new spending and selling off the state’s interest in future tobacco settlement payments.

But supporters of the bill said they heard loudly from voters in the 2016 elections that they wanted to reverse Brownback’s tax policies, restore the state’s financial condition and invest more in public education.

Senate Majority Leader Jim Denning, R-Overland Park, said he was among those who voted for the tax cuts in 2012, believing they would boost the economy. But he conceded that didn’t happen, and it was now time to reverse course.

“This starts us on the road to recovery,” Rep. Larry Hibbard, R-Toronto, said during debate in the House.

It was the first time in Brownback’s seven years as governor that one of his vetoes was overridden. He vetoed two other significant bills this year alone — an earlier version of a tax bill and a Medicaid expansion bill — and lawmakers were unsuccessful in overriding either of them.

Comments

Gary Pomeroy 5 months, 2 weeks ago

"We can and we must balance our budget without negatively harming Kansas families.”" So up to now we have been positively harming Kansas families??

Kelly O'Connor 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey LJ post everyone against the over-ride of Brownkkoch

Tony Peterson 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The only reason Brownback vetoed it was because it would be an admission his tax plan was flawed and a complete failure from the very beginning.

Richard Heckler 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Kansas voters should have learned a lesson by now: the Republican Party is not the same and has not been for about 36 years.

This will require republicans holding their noses to vote for Democrats in future elections, which is a fiscally smart choice.

Why?

It is the GOP led by libertarian right-wing politicians that has effectively rendered Kansas bankrupt. Reinstating taxes should not require a lot of thinking. It does, however, require a ton of backbone and truckloads of ethical stamina.

It’s time to reward the middle class, real Republicans and Democrats and Green Party supporters for the pain and suffering extended to them by the Brownback administration and associated ALEC sheep pretending to be Republicans.

Then cut sales taxes on the following:

school supplies from kindergarten through college graduation

groceries

all health care-related purchases.

Lawmakers should also reinstate the mortgage interest deduction and estimated sales tax refund.

The Brownback people will wage war against those who refused to do what they were told, which means big dollars will be spent to replace them. Reckless spending indeed.

Brett McCabe 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Any idiot - Jim Denning - who voted for this inane policy and believed that it would work, should be tossed out of office permanently.

Melinda Henderson 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Please note (see my post below) that Denning voted to override the veto.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

So, Brownie, you didn't get the message last November, do you get it now? Run off to Italy, please.

Michael Kort 5 months, 2 weeks ago

No green couch.......No green tie..........and somebody ha put simple black glasses on him...............but he is still blind to state economic reality ! ! !

Melinda Henderson 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Senate votes: Yea - (27): Berger, Billinger, Bollier, Bowers, Denning, Doll, Estes, Faust-Goudeau, Francisco, Givens, Goddard, Haley, Hardy, Hawk, Hensley, Holland, Kelly, Kerschen, Longbine, McGinn, Pettey, Rogers, V. Schmidt, Skubal, Sykes, Taylor, Wilborn Nay - (13): Alley, Baumgardner, Fitzgerald, Hilderbrand, Lynn, Masterson, Olson, Petersen, Pilcher-Cook, Pyle, Suellentrop, Tyson, Wagle,

House votes: Yea - (88): Alcala, Alford, Aurand, Baker, Ballard, Becker, Bishop, Brim, Burroughs, Campbell, Carlin, Carmichael, Clark, Clayton, Concannon, Cox, Crum, Curtis, Davis, Deere, Dierks, Dietrich, Elliott, Eplee, Finch, Finney, Frownfelter, Gallagher, Gartner, Good, Hawkins, Helgerson, Hibbard, Highberger, Hineman, Hodge, Holscher, Jennings, Johnson, Judd-Jenkins, Karleskint, Kelly, Kessinger, Koesten, Kuether, Lakin, Lewis, Lusk, Lusker, Markley, Mastroni, Miller, Murnan, Neighbor, Ohaebosim, Orr, Ousley, Parker, Patton, Phelps, Phillips, Pittman, Proehl, Rafie, Ralph, Rooker, Ruiz, Ryckman, Sawyer, Schreiber, Schroeder, Sloan, A. Smith, Stogsdill, Swanson, Tarwater, Terrell, Thompson, Trimmer, Victors, Ward, Waymaster, Weigel, Wheeler, Whipple, Wilson, Winn, Wolfe Moore Nay - (31): Arnberger, Awerkamp, Blex, Burris, Carpenter, Claeys, Corbet, Delperdang, Dove, Ellis, Esau, Garber, Henderson, Highland, Hoffman, Houser, Huebert, Humphries, Jones, Landwehr, Osterman, Powell, Rahjes, Resman, Schwab, E. Smith, Sutton, Vickrey, Weber, Whitmer, Williams,

Thomas Bryce Jr. 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Let us all Remember the 44 Nays when the next election arrives. Very familiar names there. Thanks for the list Melinda.

Bob Summers 5 months, 2 weeks ago

What would people that need "safe space" do without other peoples money?

What would they do? Riot. Name call. Hate. Riot.

David Campbell 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Haha! What would the military do without other peoples' money?

Bob Summers 5 months, 2 weeks ago

..or po po...or fire fighters... or streets...or the hungry...or the needy ...or welfare...or etc etc etc....

Alex Landazuri 5 months, 2 weeks ago

bob...if you are suggesting that police, ems and firefighters are not worthy of being supported for putting their lives on the line daily, then i would suggest that you NEVER call 911 from here on out.

Paul Youk 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Yeah, you guys remember the great Topeka Riots of 2014 right, where the liberal haters of Kansas rose up and sacked Topeka--Capital building on fire, cars toppled, blood on the pavement...lawless thugs!

Ray Mizumura 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The Brownback atrocity was all about taking money from the struggling to ease the lives of the secure. That's why Bob Summers liked it.

That garbage doesn't work, and Kansas illustrates the failure of Brownback class warfare against the struggling classes. But at long last, there is a turning point.

At the federal level, it's clear that the Trump-Pence regime has ideas similar to those that ruined Kansas. Let our example be a lesson to the rest of the country. You don't want this kind of garbage leadership. You don't need it, and no one deserves it.

The sun is shining in Kansas now, and don't let anyone tell you different.

Bob Summers 5 months, 2 weeks ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Richard Heckler 5 months, 2 weeks ago

This is not as awful as ALEC anti american tax cutters are making this out to be. How in the world could any elected official stand by and support further bankrupting a state? If that is not insane beyond belief what the hell is?

The legislature did not increase taxes. This is merely reinstating responsible economics. Governor Sam Brownback and his ALEC sheep are devious spinsters.

ALEC anti american tax cutters are are a weird bunch. They remove revenue sources then come to taxpaying voters and say public education isn't working, medicaid isn't working,steal money from KPERS and they want to wreck social security insurance and medicare insurance with the same process.

RJ Johnson 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Hope you all enjoy paying 1,000. to 1,500. more in taxes year!!

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Well, at least you'll have to pay taxes now. How many jobs did you create with your little tax vacation? Yeah, thought so.

RJ Johnson 5 months, 2 weeks ago

See Dorothy, that's the problem. It's my money, not yours. That's the problem I have with liberals! Always wanting something for nothing!!

Ryan Rutkowski 5 months, 2 weeks ago

If you dont want to pay taxes I am 100% ok with that, but stay off our roads, keep your kids out of my public schools, if your house is burning down-put it out yourself, but you cant use any public water supply, better get your own lagoon, because you arent using the public sewer system, better grow your own food to because most farms are federally subsidized. Police-nope, medicare-nope, social security-nope, national defense-nope. All of the social constructs that people tend to forget about are usually (in one way or another) are provide by your local, state, or federal government, WHICH runs off your tax dollars. It seems people think all this stuff just magically pays for itself, its actually people like yourself that seem to want something for nothing

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

So do any of your workers deserve any of your money, or do you pay them a lousy wage? And what Ryan said. I pay my taxes, and I would rather you didn't drive on my highway. You probably attended a public school. You probably would call the fire department if your business or house was on fire. But you are too cheap to pay for them? You expect the rest of us to pay for them for you? If you don't want to be a part of a community, why not move to a wilderness somewhere and just live on your own?

Bill Turner 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I actually don't mind at all. I'm happy to pay my fair share whilst ensuring that our communal and societal needs are met.

Tracy Rogers 5 months, 2 weeks ago

The new tax rates will actually be lower than they were in 2012.

Plus, many of the deductions were put back in that have been taken away the past few years....such as mortgage interest, child care services, etc.

Rick Masters 5 months, 2 weeks ago

How dare you bring facts to an internet fight!

Kendall Simmons 5 months, 2 weeks ago

I'm glad YOU make enough to have to pay $1,000-$1,500 more in Kansas taxes.

Cille King 5 months, 2 weeks ago

"▪ A couple making $80,000 a year in taxable income would pay about $565 more."

Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/latest-news/article154724599.html#storylink=cpy

Paul Youk 5 months, 2 weeks ago

There are an infinity of fools on the internet posting nonsense and limited time to refute them, so nonsense claims like the '$1000-$1500 more' are unchallenged constantly....I do greatly appreciate your citing the actual statistic here.

I do wish LJW had posted the 3 tiers and their new %s, as well as other specific information from the bill, assuming it is publicly available.

Brenda Bonzer 5 months, 2 weeks ago

About $20,000 of business income would generate the $1,000 of additional tax mentioned. 0% before, 5% now. You can figure it out.

Cille King 5 months, 2 weeks ago

That $20,000 would need to be the net "taxable income", after all the deductions allowed. Then the first $15,000 would be taxed at 3.1% = $465, and the next $5000 would be taxed at 5.25% = $262.50 for a total of $727.50 on the taxable portion of income of $20,000.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 5 months, 2 weeks ago

At last!! A majority of our elected officials have awakened to the disaster that this dysfunctional "governor" has caused!! Maybe we can now make some rational and workable planning for funding schools, roads, and other crying needs in the state of Kansas.

Impeach Brownkoch! That is next on the agenda of rational government change.

Dorothy Hoyt-Reed 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Brownback and his buddies kept saying "budget cuts". Brownback has had over 6 years to make budget cuts. They have gotten rid of a bunch of state workers; they have looked at savings at schools. They created the disaster KanCare has become. DCF doesn't have enough staff to protect children. But there seemed to be plenty of money for trips to ALEC conferences to get their marching order. They had plenty of money to add lawyers to Kobach's office to catch all of 9 voter "frauds". They didn't think twice about not doing their job and going into extra sessions.

Kansas was never run by a bunch of spendthrifts. They, both Democrat and Republicn were responsible for governing our state, and there was very little waste. That's why this "experiment" could never have worked. We already had fiscally responsible people, Democrat and Republican, taking care of our state. Let's get together and keep these radicals out of government from now on.

Bob Smith 5 months, 2 weeks ago

That's the way the government is designed to work.

Calvin Anders 5 months, 2 weeks ago

OK, Brownie was finally handed a defeat. Finally, the jackals in the legislature were no longer able to keep their heads planted firmly in the sand. They had to wake up. But we can't just act like they are heroes now. Those who tenaciously denied, for so long, the obvious consequences of Brownie's big give away to the wealthy must be held accountable. We must remember their wanton stupidity. Just because they finally acted reasonably doesn't mean they deserve to continue to hold office.

Paul Beyer 5 months, 2 weeks ago

Simple fact, if they are gop party members, vote them out. They are the major problem with the Kansas disaster known as brownback.

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