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Sales Tax Front and Center

It’s looking more and more like the state’s estimated $400-million revenue deficit in fiscal year 2010, will be taken care of by a 1% sales tax hike.

Rival proposals to increase the sales tax from 5.3% to 6.3% emerged in both the Kansas House and Senate yesterday. Both proposals were drafted by coalitions of Democrats and moderate Republicans.

The Senate plan would raise an estimated $350-million and the House version about $300-million.

Republican State Senator Jay Emler from Lindsborg said, “If we can’t get taxes passed, the only place we can get that kind of money is education, and I don’t thin k the governor will stand for that.” Emler is the Chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee.

Conservative Republicans and many business groups argue raising taxes will prolong the recession in Kansas.

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