The 2017 legislative session is now over, but the pain to your pocketbook is just beginning.
This legislature made history, to the tune of a $1.2 billion tax hike on working Kansans. Then, they did it again, this time with a $13.2 billion budget.
Let me be exceedingly and abundantly clear: This is the largest tax hike in state history, giving way to the largest budget in state history. And as the Governor pointed out today—they’ve already spent every dime.
This spend-happy legislature, congratulated by Sen. Bernie Sanders, would have you buy into the narrative that such historic tax hikes and ballooning budgets were necessary to fill budget gaps and fund schools at Supreme Court mandated levels. That’s simply false. They chose to spend brand new dollars, more than $200 million, on a legislative wish list. This is on top of increased funding for schools.
This record smashing budget is dissonant with financial reality. More than 30 states reported lower than expected revenues due to a nationally sluggish economy, triggering more than 20 states to make mid-year budget cuts. Other states across the country are muting state spending, holding the national average of state budget growth to one percent. The Kansas legislature hiked spending by nearly five times the national average.
On July 1, the $1.2 billion retroactive tax hike starts and the historic spending begins. Your paycheck will be smaller and state government will be bigger.
Office of Governor Sam Brownback