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Kansas Tax Cutting Model Tarnished after Sales Tax Raised

Kansas Statehouse (Photo by J. Schafer)

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) — Kansas Governor Sam Brownback's signature personal income tax cuts emerged mostly intact from a grueling legislative fight over closing the budget deficit that arose afterward. But fellow Republicans already are contemplating how they're going to defend increases in other taxes to voters next year. The state will have one of the nation's highest sales tax rates and smokers will be paying 50 cents more for each pack of cigarettes. It's not yet clear whether legislators have created long-term fiscal stability. Republican legislators repeatedly said it was not in their DNA to raise taxes and disagreements among multiple GOP factions made the annual session the longest in state history, at 113 days. Approval of the tax increases came only after top Brownback aides warned GOP lawmakers of draconian spending cuts.

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