Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 08 May 2012 14:55The income tax reduction plan is now modified, and there are now more details than when I wrote in last week’s column.
First, the tax rates: The reduction is the same as reported last week, but it will take until 2017 for the top tax rate to drop from 6.45 percent to 4.9 percent, thus delaying the cliff we will fall off, but the cliff will still be there. I now know that the low tax bracket will be lowered immediately from 3.5 percent to 3 percent.
Second, we also know that people who claim both the earned income credit and the food sales tax credit would have to choose which one they’ll take; they can’t get both if this bill passes.
We now know what constitutes “business income” in this plan. It echoes Gov. Brownback’s...
Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 01 May 2012 15:07Legislators landed back in Topeka Wednesday, April 25, and we’re now in the throes of the veto session, which will end by May 11.
While few things have happened, there was one huge announcement: On Thursday, the joint conference committee on taxation announced a “deal” on its income tax proposals.
Of the six members on the conference committee, four agree on the plan they knocked out, but one representative and one senator disagree with it and will not sign the conference committee’s report, once typed up.
Each house can still approve the agreement and send it to the governor by a floor vote adopting the report, despite the two who won’t sign the agreement. We hope to receive all the facts by Tuesday (May 2), but here are...
Written by Hillsboro Free Press Tuesday, 24 April 2012 15:49Speak out against
Atmos rate hikes
In regard to the Notice of Public Hearing that Atmos wants to raise rates (Free Press, (April 11 and 18), I hope everyone sits up and takes notice.
In the fourth paragraph, it states they want to raise residential customers’ rates by 21.7 percent! This is outrageous and we all need to stand up and say I’m not going to take this anymore.
In the second paragraph they say natural gas is subject to market forces, weather, supply and demand—we had a milder winter this year. So because we didn’t use as much, they want to penalize us because they didn’t make as much money? If they raise our rates 21.7 percent and next year it’s a very cold winter, it will hurt the public while greatly lining...
Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 17 April 2012 14:41As you know, we have yet to send any big items to the governor for signing: No budget; no tax bill impacting real estate or income tax; no reapportionment map for the House, or Senate, or Congress, and we haven’t sent him a KPERS fix.
We haven’t made any changes in the school finance formula, nor have we passed a bill to fund schools—that’s part of the budget—and that leaves our school administrators and boards in a quandary on how to craft their budget or set their staffs and programs for next fall.
I don’t expect to write a column next week. Currently, I have to talk about, so I’ll wait until there’s something to report.
We can expect to have a tough veto session with all these big issues hanging fire; it starts...
Written by Rep. Bob Brookens Tuesday, 10 April 2012 15:00Here are some more matters we’ve considered this legislative session:
• HB 2767 proposed to create a “scholarship” system so at-risk children can attend private schools and adults get an income tax credit for paying their tuition.
Private schools have long contributed to the fabric of education in Kansas, and some families opt to send their children to them, but the value of attending a private school is not at issue in this bill. The issue is whether there is a public duty to fund the private education.
Kansas has a constitutional duty to provide a suitable funding for the public education of all children in Kansas; and Kansas also has the need to prioritize all its spending, for education and other functions.
I noted in...
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