Report Reveals Kansas Gov. Brownback’s Tax Policies will put His State $1 Billion in Debt…6 Days after He Won Re-Election
Voters last week gave Republican Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas another term as governor, and will now watch the full effect of his controversial fiscal policies in the coming years.
During his first term in office, Brownback authorized mammoth tax cuts that were questioned not only by Democrats but by many Republicans and even the Wall Street Journal. Frequent complaints and warnings regarding the tax cuts were not enough for Democratic challenger Paul Davis to unseat Brownback, who won the race by nearly five percentage points.
Now, Brownback’s budget director, Shawn Sullivan, says the state is facing a $1 billion shortfall in revenues over the next two years.
“The new revenue estimates released Monday revealed that Kansas would burn through about $380 million in reserves and still need to cut $280 million to balance its current budget for fiscal year 2015, which ends next June 30,” Brad Cooper reported at the Kansas City Star.
“The problem continues in 2016 when revenues are projected to run $436 million short of expenditures, the estimates show,” he added.
Sullivan said the state has no plans to hold off on further planned tax cuts to help make up the deficit. Brownback’s tax plan cut taxes for the highest earners and eliminated them completely for limited liability and S corporations. The expectation is the legislature and Brownback will slash funding for education, transportation and social services to balance the budget.
State Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley accused Brownback of not telling the voting public the truth about his tax policies as he campaigned for a second term. “He knew all along that his policies were going to bankrupt the state,” Hensley told reporters. “There are some very, very difficult choices ahead for the Legislature. They’re going to have to cut school funding. They’re going to have to raid the highway fund. They very likely will have to cut social services.”
-Noel Brinkerhoff, Steve Straehley
To Learn More:
Kansas Revenues Will Fall $1 Billion Short of 2015 and 2016 Expenses, Fiscal Experts Say (by Brad Cooper, Kansas City Star)
Revenue Estimate: Kansas Must Make $279 Million Spending Cut (by Bryan Lowry, Eagle)
Kansas Gubernatorial Election, 2014 (Wikipedia)
Kansas Gov. Brownback Sued for Signing Law Criminalizing the Enforcement of Federal Gun Laws (by Steve Straehley, AllGov)
Sen. Brownback Leads Fight against Human-Animal Hybrids (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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