Monday, April 20, 2009

Will Republican mods, tea parties stop a tax increase?

As I noted before, the real work of preventing a state tax increase is looming. Revenue estimates are in and they're the worst ever since the revenue estimating group was formed in 1975.

Gov. Sebelius and the Legislature will have to close a minimum $328 million gap. That's almost guaranteed to increase in the months to come as there's no sign that revenues are going to reverse their downward trend.

As any good Democrat, Gov. Sebelius and her cronies in the Legislature have no intention of letting this crisis simply go by. House Minority Leader Paul Davis has already made his love of a tax increase clear. And following the release of the new revenue numbers, Gov. Sebelius indicated she wanted to enact her previous recommendations to avoid cuts to, "essential services for vulnerable citizens or further cuts in education."

In other words, there's nothing left to cut but education, therefore we need to increase taxes so we can put more of Kansans money down a black hole.

The main variable to the bitter end will be Republican moderates. To his credit, Senate President Steve Morris seems to be holding strong.
“We will make the necessary adjustments within our existing revenues to make sure we end up with a balanced budget."
Pressure will be applied to Morris and other moderate Republicans, just like it was when Sebelius decided to not pay state employees to take advantage of the "crisis." Morris nearly caved then, will he be able to hold out now?

The unknown variable here is the tea parties. Will the thousands who turned out April 15 stay involved and apply their own pressure to legislators and Sebelius to not increase taxes to fix their own problems?

You won't see any betting odds from me just yet...


Jason said...

Who, other than me, is talking about increasing taxes?

farmerjoe said...

Lots of people. Paul Davis for one. Reitz. Many others in private.

Jason said...

Paul Davis? A tax increase? No, i think the only thing he's talked about is exactly what Sebelius is talking about, which isn't increasing taxes, just not cutting them.

And, yes, I did hear Roger Reitz argue for increasing taxes on the floor of the Senate, but that wasn't spread across the journal, so...were you there?


farmerjoe said...

LOL, no I wasn't there!!! :) That's good though!

I think the Cap-Journal had a specific article about him. I'll see if I can find the specific link.

And from what I can remember about Davis was that he thought we should look at rolling back tax cuts, but then the question becomes how far back do you go? This session, two years, three? At what point do they become a suspension of cuts versus just another tax increase? And if it's just a suspension, when do they start again? I doubt we'll agree on what is what!

I think there will be an attempt to increase taxes, either sales or income. Even cutting out the tax cuts from this session won't fill the gap without some budget cuts, and those groups that would get cut are going to scream bloody murder and so I think in the end there will be a push for some form of a tax increase. Whether it ends up being sales or income or some crazy fee increase, I think there will be a strong push.

Miss Anonymous said...

I think "FarmerJoe" sits at the far-right end of the row immediately in front of Senator Reitz.

farmerjoe said...

Why do you think that Miss?