State legislators returned to Topeka Wednesday, and one thing was certain to meet them at the Capitol door – a tax fight.
Legislators are charged with putting the final touches on the 2011 session in the upcoming days, and that means members of both houses agreeing to a budget.
According to press reports, Kansas Republican House leaders say they like a plan that would phase out personal state income taxes and cut corporate income taxes.
Meanwhile in the Senate, Democratic leaders with whom many Senate Republicans often vote, hope to decouple the state’s income taxes codes from federal rules.
What the actual people want may never enter the mix. According to a poll released Wednesday by the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, Kansas voters favor cutting spending rather than raising taxes to deal with state budget shortfalls.
Nearly 70 percent of Kansas voters polled said they would prefer that state leaders cut spending rather than raising taxes. Only 13 percent favored an increase in taxes to deal with budget shortfalls.
Unfortunately, voters themselves won’t be making the decision about how to best balance the state’s budget. Currently, the budget plan likely to find a home on the governor’s desk increases state spending more than 6 percent next year.
We’re disappointed that it appears to be business as usual in Topeka, but hopeful that wiser heads may eventually prevail in the budget battle taking shape in the statehouse.