Brownback Budget Details Set Up Main Statehouse 2013 Debates

Brownback thinkingTopeka Capital Journal:
Gov. Sam Brownback’s office released a two-year budget proposal Wednesday that includes more major changes to the state tax code.
Brownback’s budget includes further reductions in income tax rates, purchased in part by extending a temporary sales tax increase and eliminating the home mortgage interest and real estate deductions.
With those revenue streams, the state general fund is projected to stay nearly neutral the next two years. It decreases by about $110 million to $6.08 billion in fiscal year 2014 that starts in July, before rebounding to about $6.15 billion in fiscal year 2015.
Both budget projections deliver on Brownback’s promise to leave a 7.5 percent ending balance, with about $450 million in the bank at the end of each of the next two fiscal years.
“The Kansas economy is growing,” Brownback said. “My FY 2014 and FY 2015 budgets are crafted to bring long-term budget stability and economic prosperity through significant reform while maintaining the state’s core responsibilities.”
But first Brownback will have to rally support to keep the state sales tax at 6.3 percent, rather than allowing it to sunset to 5.7 percent in July as it will if current law holds.
Many legislators, including Republicans, have expressed strong resistance to that idea.


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