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Brownback says higher sales tax needed in case state loses school finance lawsuit

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Topeka — Gov. Sam Brownback continues to try to build his case for making the 6.3 percent state sales tax permanent, instead of letting it fall to 5.7 percent.

On Friday, Brownback said the state may need revenue from the higher levy in case of a ruling against the state from the Kansas Supreme Court on funding of public schools.link text

"We've got a lawsuit pending against the state right now that we have lost at the lower court on K-12 funding, and we don't know when the Supreme Court is going to rule — it's under mediation now — but I think you have got to also be also looking at that in the overall picture," Brownback said.

In 2010, facing a revenue crisis, the Legislature approved a temporary, three-year increase in the state sales tax to 6.3 percent from 5.3 percent, and then decreasing it to 5.7 percent on July 1.

Brownback wants to keep the rate at 6.3 percent, saying the revenue is needed to balance the budget. He has said in recent days that the higher sales tax is required to prevent cuts proposed by the House and Senate to higher education.

Democrats oppose extending the higher rate because they say current budget problems are the result of Brownback signing into law last year income tax cuts, which they say benefit mostly the wealthy. link text In addition, they said that Brownback wants to use future sales tax revenue to cut income taxes even more. Conservative Republicans in the House have also voiced opposition to the higher sales tax rate, saying the budget should be cut more.

But on Friday, Brownback added the issue of school funding to the mix.

In January, a three-judge panel ruled that legislators must increase spending on schools by at least $440 million. The issue is pending before the state Supreme Court.

Brownback said legislators have to consider the impact that a possible final ruling against the state would have on the budget and how the state would come up with additional revenue for schools.

"You could get yourself where you'd be in a crisis position, and I don't think that's prudent," Brownback said.

Comments

KansasLiberal 1 year, 4 months ago

This wouldn't be an issue if Brownback hadn't lowered the state income tax.

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chootspa 1 year, 4 months ago

Ding, ding, ding. We have a winner.

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chootspa 1 year, 4 months ago

I'll also add that it wouldn't be an issue if he funded the schools at the level mandated by the courts in the first place.

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Lynn Grant 1 year, 4 months ago

Exactly! It would all even out if he would roll back the income tax cuts to corporations, LLC's, his wealthy buddies. Desperation I think has overcome the King. Grabbing at anything to make his case and cover his @$$. Worst. Governor. Ever.

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fearthephog512 1 year, 4 months ago

What perhaps is most sad about this situation is that Ol' Brownie and Jeff King believe this to be an attack from the judiciary. The judges were tasked with interpreting state law that calls for a certain amount of money to be placed in schools, and when the judiciary calculated that figure, legislature considered it to be an attack. Similar to if you were being sued, judges must calculate the damages — and in this case the judges used state law to find out how much money has been kept from schools. Maybe if we didn't have such a regressive tax system, the schools wouldn't have to seek adequate funding the only way possible — through the courts.

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Thinking_Out_Loud 1 year, 4 months ago

Even more than that, the judiciary did not calculate that figure--it used figures from studies commissioned by the legislature.

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hujiko 1 year, 4 months ago

If the sales tax increase extends at its current rate beyond July 1st, then Brownback in essence will be raising taxes.

Explain yourself.

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Lane Signal 1 year, 4 months ago

As long as the tax he increase targets the middle to lower income brackets, Brownie will be sleep fine at night. Just knowing he is taking care of his wealthy donor base is enough for him. In a recent poll, Brownie had a 49% disapproval rating. That means 51% of Kansas don't see him as dangerous. Over half of those polled don't have a strong negative opinion of him. It's scary to me that so many Kansans have yet to see our governor as a thief and a liar. It's scary that the wealthy can so aggressively grab for our money and our rights and more people don't see what is happening.

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James Nelson 1 year, 4 months ago

Rolling back the unjust income tax savings for the rich ought to produce any needed funds.

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speedy47 1 year, 4 months ago

Like that will even be considered.

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cowboy 1 year, 4 months ago

Brownback said legislators have to consider the impact that a possible final ruling against the state would have on the budget and how the state would come up with additional revenue for schools.

"You could get yourself where you'd be in a crisis position, and I don't think that's prudent," Brownback said.

Sam should have thought about this before his great income tax giveaway

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JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 4 months ago

Or, when ks loses the lawsuit...Brownbackward again and again and again

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 4 months ago

Sam ALEC Brownback and his reckless big government spending is the problem. One day enough people will realize that the state GOP and the National GOP are NOT the economic giants of our time.

Why did Sam Brownback give AMC $47 million tax dollars to relocate across state lines? This is a perfect example of reckless economics practiced by people who have no idea what the hell they are doing.

Kansas used workers' withholding taxes to bribe AMC Entertainment with a $47 million payment to move its headquarters from downtown Kansas City, Missouri, to a KC suburb on the Kansas side, just 10 miles away. What a ripoff!

(((AMC Entertainment has since been sold to Dalian Wanda Group of China. )))

Where are the $47 million tax dollars for public education when we need them?

There are liars then there is Sam ALEC Brownback.

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Tony Kisner 1 year, 4 months ago

If I recall by eliminating income taxes on llc's etc. All the extra cash from your dentist who no longer pays income tax was going to solve all our problems. What gives?

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verity 1 year, 4 months ago

Is this not a promise broken?

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dabbindan 1 year, 4 months ago

what he should say is "may need sales tax because i the legislature passed and i signed a really stupid income tax bill."

and if he was honest, he'd say "i think we shift more taxes to the poor, because earlier, we shifted more taxes to the poor."

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kernal 1 year, 4 months ago

So Brownback wants the middle class and poorer Kansans to pay for his and his cronies stupidity. Sorry, Sam, but you and your pals are the ones who gave the ridiculous tax breaks to those who bought you and yours, so go to them for the money.

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verity 1 year, 4 months ago

It wasn't stupidity, it was intentional. They knew exactly what was going to happen.

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Dave Trabert 1 year, 4 months ago

One needn't be proficient in math to know that money can only be spent once. If the sales tax is used to balance the budget, it can't also be used to pay for a lawsuit.

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chootspa 1 year, 4 months ago

One needn't be proficient in math to see that removing the state income tax obligation from your Koch sponsors was a huge mistake.

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bballwizard 1 year, 4 months ago

Much rather have a sales tax hike than an income tax hike.

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dabbindan 1 year, 4 months ago

unless you spend virtually all of your disposable income on taxable items as do the poor.

balance is the key unless you enjoy walking on the backs of others.

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bangaranggerg 1 year, 4 months ago

Doesn't bother me, I shop online with vendors where I can avoid sales tax.

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