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Kansas Republicans revolt against GOP governor, raise taxes

Kansas Republicans revolt against GOP governor, raise taxes

They had to take the unusual step of overriding Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's veto to get some of those taxes back on the books.

In addition to the tax cut fight, Brownback is facing an intra-party battle with more moderate Republicans in the state legislature who are trying to expand Medicaid.

Brownback argued that cutting taxes for households and businesses would stimulate the state's economy, and because more Kansans would be working and investing, there would be more income for the state to tax.

Kansas faces projected budget shortfalls totaling $889 million, and the state Supreme Court ruled in March that its education funding is inadequate. Summarized below are some of the key components of the new Kansas income tax bill.

On Tuesday night, the House voted 88-31 and the Senate 27-13 to produce in the Republican-led Legislature a rare override of a Brownback veto.

"Our people deserve so much better than what's happening in Topeka right now", Kobach said. But Kansas - a Republican state if there ever was one - may have saved us all.

Kansas state Reps. John Barker (R-Abilene), left, and Dan Hawkins (R-Wichita) confer during a House debate on tax issues in Topeka.

The Republican-controlled Kansas state legislature's repudiation of Gov. Sam Brownback's economic policies this week should provide a cautionary tale to the Trump administration and Republican Congress of the risks in pushing supply-side tax cuts.

The spending watchdog group warned that Trump's tax plan if implemented could push the gross national debt to 111 percent of GDP by 2027, higher than any time in USA history.

"Historically", he said, "any time you vote for a huge tax increase there is going to be voters that are concerned". The "Laffer Curve" sketched on the napkin illustrated a point at which higher taxes would supposedly hurt the economy enough to reduce the overall amount of revenue collected, while tax cuts could pay for themselves or even increase revenue. It may not come as a big surprise that the beleaguered governor is reportedly in talks with the Trump administration about a new job. The decline in revenue was exacerbated by Brownback's decision to cut the state business tax to zero, which created a five-to-seven-point differential between the state tax on regular income and business income.

"Trump was supposed to upend that, but it looks like he's not going to", Cox said.

Brownback and his promised tax cuts were expected to spur enough economic growth to keep the government well funded, but when that economic boom never materialized, state lawmakers faced perennial deficits and had to implement spending reductions to close the gap. Last year, for example, the state's GDP increased a mere 0.2 percent, compared with a growth rate of 1.6 percent nationwide.


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