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Ciboski: Budget Issues

Stephen Koranda
KPR/File photo

This week, the Kansas Senate began considering Senate Bill 147, introduced by Senate GOP leaders. This measure would reinstate taxes on business income from limited liability companies.  

As one could expect, business owners and professionals presented a wall of opposition and urged the state to continue working toward no income taxes as a goal. Governor Brownback sharply criticized the measure. He stated that the bill would harm the real people who serve as the lifeblood of the state by punishing the middle class, teachers, police officers, nurses, and the job creators who are the backbone of the Kansas economy.

The Kansas Association of School Boards favored the bill. However, the money raised under the Senate proposal would fill only part of the state’s fiscal hole. Charlotte O’Hara, a former lawmaker, said that increased spending is the cause of the budget problem. A Senate floor debate on the measure is likely this week, and it is expected to include a debate on proposed spending cuts. I think that Kansans are likely to see a combination of the passage of revenue-raising measures as well as some significant spending cuts during this legislative session.

Dr. Ken Ciboski is an associate professor emeritus of political science at Wichita State University.