Topeka, KS (westernkansasnews.com) The Kansas House has filled a 400 million dollar shortfall by passing two separate tax increases. That Friday night was followed as the Senate signed on to the bill. One raises the state sales tax from 6.15 to 6.5 percent. The other lifts cigarette taxes fifty cents per pack. Representative Bud Estes believes passing this tax increase was much better than the alternative.
K-12 also would have taken a substantial hit beyond the cuts suffered by going to block grants.
Estes believes an audit of each department will prevent these steps from being needed in the future.
Will the tax increase slow down our economy? Estes does not think so.
Some 380-thousand lower income Kansans will be exempted from paying state income tax in the new bill. Governor Brownback is expected to sign the bill into law.