In this Jan. 12, 2016 file photo, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback speaks to the legislature in Topeka, Kan.
Photo by Orlin Wagner/AP

Kansas Republicans send Brownback a tax hike

In the 21st century, it’s effectively impossible to get Republican officials to support raising taxes on anyone, by any amount, for any reason. But in Kansas, Gov. Sam Brownback’s (R) radical economic experiment has failed so spectacularly, GOP officials believe they’ve run out of choices.

The Kansas City Star reported late last week that the state legislature, where Republicans dominate in both chambers in one of the nation’s reddest red states, “passed a bill to increase taxes Friday that could mark the end of many of the policies long championed by Gov. Sam Brownback.”
The legislation would bring the state more than $1 billion over a two-year span. It does that by raising a second income tax rate, bringing in a third bracket and ending a tax exemption for roughly 330,000 business owners. […]

The state faces roughly $750 million in budget shortfalls over the next two years.
To be sure, if local reporting is any indication, state lawmakers weren’t altogether pleased with their solution, but Brownback’s tax cuts have left the state’s finances in such shambles, even Kansas’ Republican-led chambers have found themselves ready to change direction.

That said, it may not matter. The Kansas City Star reported today:
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback will veto a bill that sought to raise income taxes and roll back his signature tax policies. Brownback called the plan a “big, retroactive income tax increase.”

“I won’t sign it, and I will veto this bill,” he said to applause at the annual dinner of the Kansas Chamber of Commerce, one of the groups that has lobbied to maintain the tax cuts ushered into law in 2012. “This is bad policy for Kansas,” he said. “This will hurt growth in this state. Growth is what we need.”
Growth may be part of the solution for Kansas, but growth was also supposed to be the result of Brownback’s economic plan, approved five years ago, which has cost the state dearly without the results predicted by the governor.

And so, Kansas finds itself in yet another mess. Brownback won’t sign the tax package approved by the GOP-led legislature, and the legislature doesn’t have the votes to override the governor’s veto.

Remember, as far as Brownback is concerned, not only has his failed experiment been a great success, but he’s also eager to have Donald Trump and congressional Republicans follow his lead.

Kansas and Sam Brownback

Kansas Republicans send Brownback a tax hike