|This past week has been a very productive week in both the House and the Senate. The tax bill put together by our tax committee, was heard on the floor of the House. This bill basically repeals the 2012 tax bill that has given me so much heartburn during the last four years and has caused the state of Kansas budget and revenue problems we’ve had to deal with. It includes bringing all corporations, including limited liability corporations, back into the tax mix. It also includes a third step in the formula for couples that are making over $100,000 a year.
The bill passed out of the House with 77 “YES” votes and was sent to the Senate where on Friday, it passed with 22 “YES” votes. The Senate made no amendments to the bill, so it is ready for the governor’s signature. The governor has three choices – he can either sign the bill, veto the bill, or after ten days, let it pass without his signature. He does not like the bill as it will do away with the march to zero for income tax that he proposed and instead put us back to using the three-legged stool approach to taxation, which means relatively equal parts of property tax, sales tax, and income tax are used to balance the budget.
On Wednesday, we worked the House Recision bill which deals with balancing the budget for the rest of the year. With a $320 million shortfall and a budget that has to balance on June 30, 2017, there were no good choices on how to do this. The avenue taken was to borrow $300 plus million dollars from a state investment fund, some of which was from unclaimed property. The intent is to reimburse this fund back to its full amount in seven or eight years. I related this to a family that has unexpected bills and has to cash their savings account in order to take care of their immediate needs. I voted for the bill because I felt it was better than cutting schools, health services, and all other state agencies from five to eight percent between now and June 30th. This bill also passed and has been sent to the Senate.