Republican Controlled Kansas Senate Passes Largest Tax Increase In State’s History

Kansas budget squeeze

On Sunday evening, the Republican-controlled Kansas Senate passed a 471 million dollar tax increase. If the measure passes the Kansas House on Monday and is then signed into law by Governor Sam Brownback, it will become the largest tax increase in Kansas’ history.

Senate support for the tax increase is a clear sign that the Brownback tax cuts that were supposed to stimulate the economy, have failed so miserably, that even Tea Party Republicans have resigned themselves to supporting a massive tax increase. However, the Senate did not opt to restore higher income tax rates for the wealthy, but instead they decided to fill the state’s gaping budget hole by raising regressive taxes which pass the burden onto the poor.

The Senate bill, which passed on a close 21-17 vote, would raise the state sales tax from 6.15 percent to 6.55 percent. The cigarette tax would jump from .79 cents a pack to a 1.29 a pack. The measure would also lower deductions for property taxes, charitable contributions and home mortgage interest.

The bill protects the zero income tax rate for many owners of limited-liability companies, corporate farms and large corporations. However, it eliminates sales tax rebates on food for poor families, the elderly and people with disabilities.

So while Senate Republicans have finally come to grips with the failure of the Brownback tax cuts, their solution is not to make billionaires like Charles Koch, who still claims residency in Wichita, pay a higher tax rate. Instead they have decided to tackle the state’s budget crisis by raising the price of food for the poor, disabled and elderly.

What voters in Kansas, and across the nation, need to recognize is that the Republican Party is not so much committed to cutting taxes, as they are to protecting the wealth and privilege for the people at the top of the income pyramid. Republican rhetoric about cutting taxes is often interpreted by voters as a signal that GOP politicians will cut their taxes. However, when tax cuts fail to stimulate the growth that was promised, Republicans will try to plug the gap by squeezing every last penny from the people without money, before they dare ask rich people to pay their fair share.

If the Senate bill becomes law, low and middle-income Republican voters in Kansas will become the proud owners of an “anti-tax Governor and anti-tax legislature” that passed the largest tax increase in the state’s history. To add insult to injury, they will also have the dubious honor of paying for that tax increase so that the state’s aristocracy can keep their precious tax cuts. If not for the fact that some of those people will endure real suffering, the whole charade would be almost comical.

53 Replies to “Republican Controlled Kansas Senate Passes Largest Tax Increase In State’s History”

  1. Wow! Really the wealthy get to keep their tax cut! No surprises here. Money can buy anything even more money. The people of Kansas need to take to the streets and protest this nonsense.

  2. This is Criminal in every way. Elect Walker or for that matter ANY Rethuglican Stooge and this is what awaits us all.

  3. If the poor and what middle class is left continue to vote for these lying thieves then they will reap what they sow.

  4. our next project is to make it harder for you to vote so you can’t change your mind and try to make us change our minds…

    a mind is a terrible thing to waste…

    eat more brains… Zombie Apocalypse

  5. I am slack-jawed; appalled…
    If ever there was a crystalline icon to represent the mean-spirited GOP, this is it. And djchefron is right. The ignorant rubes (my characterization; not his) brought it on themselves.

  6. I still say the people of Kansas are getting what they want by voting for politician who really care nothing for them.

    Also, and too, those who don’t vote deserve what they get.

  7. Where are all the religious leaders? Why are they not in the streets fighting for the poor and middle class? So sad.

  8. Tax Increase…?? Or does it just restore SOME of the taxes that Brownback cut… (let me guess…)

    Come on PoliticusUSA, the headline is a bit misleading…

  9. Why is it when taxes that are raise on the lower classes they are thought of small increases of fees but raise a dime on the rich its the largest in history?

  10. Since I spent weeks with the faith community in KS supporting Dr. Tiller years ago, I know one thing for sure – any actions they take to support progressive causes will NEVER be reported. For all you know, they ARE leading “Moral Mondays” types of protest but not getting an ounce of TV or media time. They sure did not when they supported George Tiller – only the anti-abortion zealots from out of KS every were on the news.

  11. Well the “religious leaders” based in Topeka were too busy protesting gay people at Beau Biden’s funeral. Westboro Baptist Church certainly is a fringe group, but unfortunately they are also the most visible “religious leaders” from Kansas. Kansas—home of the Koch Brothers and Westboro Baptist Church. Dorothy should have stayed in Oz.

  12. It increases taxes from where they are currently, and while some of the increase is restoring taxes that were previously cut, the new increase also includes new taxes on poor people that were not part of the original Brownback tax cuts, such as eliminating food tax exemptions for the poor, elderly and disabled.

  13. ‘i dont think we’re in kansas anymore toto…’

    but keep on voting against yourself, hows that gop trickle down workin for ya? like being trickled on, dont cha, red states…

  14. Just wanted to let you know that there are more things going on here in Kansas (la la land). I voted against this piece of shit and so did a lot of other folks like me. Your comments about all Kansans deserving this insanity is not deserved. I am 65 and I cannot get out of here quick enough. But, I am a home owner and dealing with falling home values and stuck on a small income. I am a California gal and this “insanity” is new to me. I will tell you that I feel as if I am being squeezed into non existence. So, if one of you is willing to have mercy, then step up to the plate and help me out of this hell hole!

  15. Creflo’s not a Pastor DJ, he’s a sucker. Sucks the the life from his people along with their Dollars. Ever see a buffed dead person?

  16. These vile, vicious reptilian-brained republicans claim the left are all socialists and communists (not even knowing the difference) who want to redistribute the wealth by taking from those who have and giving to those who need. But that’s what they do and have always done. This is the perfect example. Taxes on the rich were slashed, and when it turned out that the expected increased revenues never materialized (we all knew that wouldn’t happen), instead of undoing the original tax cuts, they increased the tax burden on those who can least afford to take the hit. That’s the most grotesque method of transfer of money there is, directly from the poor to the rich, just in reverse order. In other words, first they gave to the rich, who certainly don’t need it, and to cover the inevitable shortfall, they take from the poor. How can these monsters live with themselves?

  17. Why does it take so long (4 hours?) to get approved? The post before mine was posted at 11:27 pm, less than 4 hours ago.

  18. Quite a few moderators are volunteers, and even those who aren’t have bodily requirements , including sleep. My eyes are still stuck shut, but here you are.

  19. I understand your frustration. Last week I had no few of mine ‘awaiting moderation’.

    Annoying? Yes. But I get what I pay for.

  20. Income tax rates remain unchanged while the sales tax goes from 6.15 to 6.55. So let’s do the math 6.55-6.15=.40.

  21. In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.
    -Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814

  22. What a lot of people need to remember is that just because a person got elected doesn’t mean that everyone in that district or state voted for said person. More people voted for Brownback’s opponents than for Brownback. There were a lot of close elections for representatives. Now, a lot of people who voted for the republicans are regretting it. Hopefully they’ll remember all this in 2016.

  23. My family was settlers in Kansas and I know that they are turning over in their graves. With what the Governor and the Republicans has done to Kansas. If there was some way for me to move what I have out of Kansas I would. Kansas is going back toward the stone age under their control. Never liked Brownback as a Senator because he never did anything for the people of Kansas, he is even worse as the Governor, he is making to State go backwards very fast. He is just for his friends and the people he gets money from, not the people of Kansas that he should be helping. It is a shame that it is not like it used to be in government, once they got in they did their best for the people not for what money they could get.

  24. I am against any tax increases for anyone in my state. The increases in Kansas were not needed. You just don’t spend as much. Actually when you compare Kansas with other states their tax rate overall is quite low. Have you checked out the tax burden in New York, New Jersey. Michigan, and most states in the northeast, I would pick Kansas to live any day.

  25. As much as I would like to get Walker out of Wisconsin (my state) I would not want him to gain the presidency.

  26. Restoring the tax cuts that were given mainly to the filthy rich wouldn’t be a tax increase. I know that people who have reptilian brains can’t understand that. Since you think that taxes should never be increased, but that spending should be cut, then under your theory, taxes and spending should be cut to zero and leave everyone on their own for their survival. Would you be happy under that scenario.

  27. The people of Kansas need to look in the mirror and ask how proud they are of themselves for having reelected Brownback and his cronies in the Senate and Legislature. They got exactly what they asked for.

  28. Actually, it restores NONE of the previous tax cuts. The massive cuts in the tax rates for upper incomes remain. So do the elimination of any taxes on ‘small businesses’ (which, being based strictly on the legal status and number of employees, means that people like the Kochs pay *zero* state tax, while people working minimum wage jobs actually saw a tax increase).

    Instead, Kansas has decided to replace those lost income taxes with taxes that disproportionately hit lower and middle class families.

    Kansas – just the place you want to raise your kids. Except, of course, you can’t afford to raise kids in Kansas unless you already have a six-figure yearly income.

  29. You can’t be serious…

    Kansas has already closed many schools, so how would you educate the children, or do you want to let them fend for themselves.

    So you’re saying YOU don’t want to pay, who paid taxes so YOU could get an education?

    Where will the fire and police departments get their $$$$, or you don’t care.

    Who will pay for your roads, highways and bridges?

    Will you personally go and pull the plug on the respirators of those who on medicade?

    Do you have a heart?

    How many tornados will the BLUE states have to pay for?

    I hope my California tax $$$ does not go to the IGNORANCE of Kansas.

  30. Interesting how this article doesn’t mention the fact that the food tax will drop next year (the only reason it isn’t immediate is because it will take a while for grocery stores, etc. to implement a separate sales tax on food vs. other items) and that they are raising taxes on business owners.

  31. Hi Lynn,

    No one really wants to see the people of Kansas suffer, so please do not take it personal when people say the Kansans are getting what they deserve. They are just venting their anger in a way that might seem inappropriate.

    I personally suspect that the people of Kansas (along with other supposedly “Red” States) are being cheated of their votes. Your in-state political system is being tampered with to the point where it doesn’t matter how you vote – the Kochs will get a return on their investment. I live in California, and I wrote an email to Governor Brownback’s office questioning the reason for the lack of educational funding and teacher union-busting in your state. I merely received an auto-response email thanking me for contacting them, and nothing else. Surely, no one read it on their end.

    At this point, Kansans must get up and take to the streets in protest. It’s the ONLY way to restore a fair and balanced political system in your state.

    God ble…

  32. Brownback woulda, coulda, shoulda helped the people of Kansas. He could care less about the people. Kansans need to force his hand or kick him out of office.

  33. Oh how stupid one can be
    The plan will set the state’s sales tax rate, which was scheduled to decrease from 6.3 percent to 5.7 percent, at 6.15 percent. The state’s sales tax on food, which is among the highest in the country, will be set at the same rate. The sales tax hike was proposed by Gov. Sam Brownback (R), who hopes to eventually eliminate the state’s income taxes altogether.

    Now it does have a food tax rebate. Now how much of a rebate they don’t say and trust it wont be as much as the dumbasses who voted for this kocksuker in what they paid into a higher sales tax

  34. While I don’t believe in god and I am not religious, I do believe in KARMA and I hope I live long enough to see the GOP get some of it. Maybe by the next election.

  35. Maybe it is time to get out the pitch forks and the torches and go looking for these thieves and liars. Obviously, voting is going to get rid of them since the gerrymandered voters and the rich wants to keep their tax cuts and will always vote for them. Bring out the pitch forks, maybe that is the only thing they understand.

  36. Thank you for your reply. Honestly, I do believe in our system of government but, I strongly sense that the system is being tampered with. When I voted I was filled with hope because so many people showed up and were asking for paper ballots (Democrats do that when they want a paper trail).
    When I flip the coin, to have a look at the other side of the issue, I realize that my Tea Bag family members are getting a first hand look at what it means to end up with nothing. God, I hope it is worth the hell if they would just wake up and see the hell that we live in.
    I must sound very dramatic, but believe me, when you live through this weirdness it blows your mind away to witness such backward behaviors.
    I am thinking it might be a good idea to auction the house off and get outta town quickly!

  37. Feel embarrassed to tell people we lived in Kansas for 25 years and went to church with the Brownbacks. He was a Presbyterian at the time. It seems he has taken advice from the most extreme fiscal conservatives. Getting yourself into Doonesbury comic strip for bad choices seals one’s coffin for any future higher political office. Karma will preserve us from him ever being elected president.

  38. I live in Kansas, sadly. I finally figured out why Kansas voted for this guy, Just about every person in Kansas has a farm, “corporation farms” are one of the businesses that qualify to pay ZERO tax on non wage income. There you have it. For most of Kansas it is a great thing, those who are not farmers, or other qualifying businesses are to few to matter or have any significant voice. Best just to move if you aren’t a farmer / business owner.

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