Democratic leaders today (TUE) said they see no way the state can avoid cuts to education under a tax plan passed by the legislature and supported by Governor Sam Brownback. The plan will cut personal income tax rates and completely eliminate income taxes for nearly 200,000 businesses. The non-partisan Legislative Research Department estimates the cut could mean around $2 billion in budget deficits. House Minority Leader Paul Davis, from Lawrence, says that will mean cuts to education, the single largest item in the state budget.
“Governor Brownback can no longer tell the people of Kansas with a straight face that big cuts to their public schools, to their universities, are not on the way. The cuts are coming.”
Governor Brownback has said he will propose cost savings in other areas of state government, not education, and that the tax cut will create jobs and thus boost the state's future tax collections. Sherriene Jones-Sontag, with the governor’s office, called the Democrats’ claims “scare tactics.”
“For the first time in years, Kansas is adding jobs. We’ve turned a $500 million deficit into a $500 million ending balance. This is the crowd who destroyed tens of thousands of jobs and bankrupted the state.”
The tax cut will take effect in January.