TOPEKA—Today, over 55 former legislators from across Kansas released the following statement regarding Governor Brownback’s signing of HB 2117, known as the Brownback Tax Plan.
“We agree with conservative Senate Tax Chairman Les Donovan, as quoted in the Wichita Eagle, when he called this tax package, ‘the worst tax bill to ever come out of the Statehouse,’” said former Assistant Majority Leader and State Chair of the Republican Party Rep. Rochelle Chronister. “This is a tax bill that only a deficit-spending politician who has spent his career in Washington, DC could love. Kansans need property tax relief; instead this proposal was crafted by special interests and a Missouri billionaire. What does it do for Kansas? It bankrupts the state within two years.”
Numbers from the Kansas Department of Education, released today, show that schools will be cut an additional 40 percent to help offset the cost of this tax bill in addition to driving up local property taxes. And, according to the Kansas Economic Progress Council, Kansas will have to create 53,222 new jobs that pay $50,000 over the next two years to fill the shortfall that is created by the tax plan. The number grows to 550,022 new jobs by 2018 –a growth rate of nearly 50 percent.
Chronister went on to say, “If Kansas is going to be competitive in attracting businesses to our state, we need an educated workforce. You cannot secure our long-term financial success by running up the deficit on future generations and gutting Kansas’ schools. Kansans have never supported such a radical agenda and aren’t likely to start now. Elections have consequences and I look forward to the conversation continuing this year and into 2014.”
The Kansas State General Fund (SGF) is approximately $6 billion. The governor’s tax plan, according to the Kansas Legislative Research Department, will create a $362.5 million deficit in 2014, climbing to $2.739 billion by 2017. The SGF pays for, among other things, the highway patrol, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, state prisons, healthcare programs, higher education and K-12 schools. A budget cut of nearly 50 percent to the SGF, within five years, will dramatically impact these services.
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