More Details on Briwnback’s School Plan, Others Worry Sin Taxes May Drive Biz to Missouri

The head of the National Education Association for the Kansas City, Kansas school district thinks Governor Sam Brownback’s plan for the state’s schools will short change students.
Brownback’s administration fleshed out the details of its education budget Friday.
Brownback’s school budget calls for spending to remain steady for the balance of this school year; next school year and the one after that, 2016-17.
School critics say that’s not enough money and point to recent court rulings to back them up.
In his Thursday night ‘State of the state’ speech, the conservative Republican called for a ‘time out in the school finance wars,”.
Brownback is also asking legislators to start overhauling the state’s complex formula for allocating money to every school district in the state.
The Governor wants the current formula to end this summer. He says school district could get state money through block grants while the formula is being redesigned.
Hodison says that is not practical.
“Well, if there is no formula how to you determine how much each school district gets?”
Another element of the Brownback budget plan is under fire from Kansas in the liquor business and the state’s convenience stores.
The administration is calling for a dramatic raise in the state’s cigarette tax.
The Governor is proposing to raise the 79-cent-per-pack tax to $2.29, almost triple the current tax.
The head of the state’s Petroleum and Convenience Store marketers Association, Tom Palace, said a rate that high would make competing with other states on cigarettes very difficult.
Kansas’ neighbor to the east, Missouri, has the 17-cent per pack cigarette tax, the lowest in the nation.
“All we’d be doing is waving at the taillights as they leave the state,” Palace said.
The co-owner of Rimann’s Liquors in Prairie Village, Ks said much the same thing.
“It would hurt–severally hurt our business. because,, again, Missouri has twice the population and they have significantly lower taxes on fuel, tobacco and of course, alcohol,” she said.
Brownback’s budgeteers hope the increases in the cigarette, tobacco and alcohol taxes, combined with delaying some tax cuts that were expected to take effect this year, will raise more than $300. The state is facing a budget shortfall of $700 million..

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