The show goes on in Kansas as the House rejects Senate tax plan

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Before they learned to love taxes, local Kansas House Republicans Ray Merrick, Jerry Lunn, Marvin Kleeb, Erin Davis, Ron Ryckman and Scott Schwab loved to hate taxes.

All of those Johnson County House members have proclaimed in one fashion or another how taxes are too high in Kansas. And why not? No one gets elected in Kansas by promising to raise taxes.

Nevertheless, it’s tax-raising season in Kansas these days. Those tax cuts from 2012 didn’t pay for themselves. So Merrick, Lunn, Kleeb, Davis, Ryckman and Schwab all voted to increases taxes on all Kansans on Thursday.

But they made up a piece of a tiny minority that voted in favor of a tax plan approved by the Senate over the weekend. In the end, the latest proposal to dig Kansas out of a $400 million hole went up in flames when the Kansas House voted 94-21 to defeat the Senate plan. Last night, House leaders tried to cajole their flock into adopting the latest tax plan, calling it a way to fund education.

Too late for that. You can’t saunter through an entire legislative session talking about education is overfunded and then come in at the last minute acting like a crusader for the children.

A cascade of House members abandoned the Senate’s tax ship over the last 16 hours, leaving barnacles like House Speaker Merrick clinging to the side of a sinking, ill-conceived plan that raises sales taxes on everyone in Kansas while leaving 330,000-plus businesses off of the income tax hook. Incidentally, no House Democrats voted in favor of the tax package today. Who’s the tax-and-spend party now?

All this means is that Kansas is no closer to ending this historic legislative session.

Categories: News, Politics