December 13, 2016
Kansas advocacy groups are pushing for tax increases to fix the state’s budget.
According to the Kansas Health Institute (KHI), groups representing children, teachers, state workers, contractors, and others are proposing a tax overhaul that would reinstate income taxes on hundreds of thousands of businesses and raise the top income tax rate.
Former Kansas Budget Director and senior fellow for the Kansas Center for Economic Growth Duane Goossen, who said tax cuts have hurt the state’s ability to invest in needed services, revealed the tax plan in Topeka last week along with Annie McKay with Kansas Action for Children.
Goossen said the plan would stabilize state government and pay for programs like the 50-year water plan and that it would more adequately staff mental health hospitals and the Kansas Highway patrol.
The sales tax rate on food would be cut, under the plan, to help low-income residents and it would raise the gas tax, KHI reports.
A spokesperson for the governor, Melika Willoughby, called the changes “tax and spend proposals” and said the plan would hurt middle-class Kansans like nurses and police officers.
The state’s current budget shortfall is close to $350 million and is expected to be even larger in the next fiscal year.
Read more from the High Plains Public Radio here.