Government
3:20 pm
Thu June 13, 2013

Brownback Signs Controversial Tax Bill In Overland Park

Gov. Sam Brownback signed the historic tax bill at the Prairie Fire construction site in Overland Park, Kan.
Credit Laura Ziegler / KCUR

Kansas is “open for business," according to the enthusiastic proclamation made by Gov. Sam Brownback Thursday morning as he signed a controversial tax bill in Overland Park, Kan.

The governor was referring to the impact of second year cuts in state income taxes that he and supporters claim will attract economic development to the state - enough economic development to offset expected budget shortfalls in coming years.

"We've got models on this," says Brownback. "It shows a dip before we are growing out. We've got a good ending balance right now and we are going to be able to fund our core services and move through this tax policy to keep that growth happening."

Brownback says he is not happy with the 1.5 percent cut in 4-year colleges or cuts to corrections the legislature insisted on to accommodate the loss in tax revenue.

He says he is going to reverse those cuts, but would not say how or when that would happen. Critics of the tax bill say it has many drawbacks, like eliminating standard deductions and continuing a sales tax - albeit at a lower rate. It also brings cuts to education and social services.