The Kansas House passed the largest tax increase in state history on Thursday by a final vote of 76-48, and also initially passed via voice vote borrowing against long-term investments after placing them back with the Pooled Money Investment Board to fill in a $320 million budget hole. In addition, the House passed the recission bill on a voice vote as well.
Representative Trevor Jacobs of Fort Scott voted against the tax increase. “The state promised incentives for growth,” he said. “Now that the citizens have invested in our communities, they are being subjected to retroactive penalties and higher taxes by the state. How can the state ask for prosperity when it cuts the vital roots of growth?”
Jacobs then quoted former President Ronald Reagan, “The problem is not the people are taxed too little. The problem is government spends too much.”
Republican House Majority Leader Don Hineman voted for the tax increase.
“Since the day the tax cut was first proposed and adopted in 2012, I have been convinced that the plan went too far, too fast,” said Hineman. “It created an inequitable tax system and destabilized state revenues. As elected officials, we have an obligation to spend the people’s tax money wisely and reduce taxes when possible, but we are also obligated to responsibly fund government and to provide those services that the people of Kansas need and expect.”
Though the margin was strong, it was not-veto proof, as that would have taken 84 votes in the House.
The Kansas Senate will debate the measure before they go home for the weekend.
Senate President Susan Wagle told the Lawrence Journal-World, “That bill has momentum.”
Governor Sam Brownback has said that he will not sign the measure. Governors can let bills become law without their signature.