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Brownback Proposes Tax Changes, Spending Cuts to Balance KS Budget

Former state Representative Richard Carlson. (Photo by Stephen Koranda)

Governor Sam Brownback wants to slow down income tax cuts and give lawmakers more discretion over when future tax cuts take place. His administration’s plan to fill a budget gap was unveiled today (FRI), and it includes both spending cuts and tax hikes. It would cancel some automatic income tax cuts scheduled for the coming years and instead give lawmakers discretion over further reductions. Former state Representative Richard Carlson, now with the Department of Revenue, explained the plan.
 
“This change moves the tax policy to a much more sustainable and flexible long-term policy as economic conditions will drive further reductions in our income tax,” says Carlson.
 
The governor's plan also includes big increases in tobacco and liquor taxes.  He also wants to keep intact the 4 percent budget cut he recently made to most state agencies.
 
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(VERSION TWO)

Governor Sam Brownback wants to slow down income tax cuts as part of a plan to balance the state budget. His plan, unveiled today (FRI), would cancel some automatic income tax cuts scheduled for the coming years. When tax collections start to grow, some state revenue would be put into a special fund to pay for tax cuts. Former state Representative Richard Carlson, now with the Department of Revenue, says lawmakers can continue cutting tax rates when the state economy warrants it.
 
“These reductions can take place when we have the growth to justify taking money out of the Tax Reduction Fund and actually reducing income taxes,” says Carlson.

The governor's plan also includes big increases in liquor and tobacco taxes. For instance, state taxes on cigarettes would climb from 79 cents to $2.29 per pack. In addition, Brownback wants to more quickly phase out some tax deductions and keep intact a recent 4 percent budget cut to most state agencies. 

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