And they’re off ... legislators trying to get as much as possible accomplished in 90 days. Our Kansas Constitution limits the Legislature to 90 days in session in even-numbered years.
Property taxes: You have been telling me that increasing appraisals are automatically increasing your property taxes and I have been listening. This past summer I, with the help of other legislators, have been working on solutions. To increase taxes should require a vote by the commissioners and not automatically increase by the action of the appraiser. Being chairwoman of the Senate Tax committee, I will be working on this as well as improving the process to appeal property taxes. Bills are being introduced to increase transparency and improve the process. I will keep you updated.
Kansas government has out-of-control spending: Last January, in 2019, Gov. Kelly submitted her large budget to the Legislature and the Legislature sent it back to her with $182 million dollars more spending then she requested. She could have line-item vetoed this increase but she didn’t. I did not support last year’s out-of-control budget and I will not support any reckless budget that spends more than we are taking in.
The governor promised she wouldn’t raise taxes. A few days ago in this year’s State of the State speech she said she would submit a budget that would honor her promise to cut taxes. However, in her budget presented the next day, she asked for sales tax to be put on all digital video, audiobooks, pictures, greeting cards, games and streaming services. That would increase state revenues by $26.7 million. Sounds like a tax increase to me.
The governor also proposed $54 million in property tax relief. Kansans pay around $5 billion in property taxes. The $54 million Local Ad Valorem Tax Reduction (LAVTR) the governor proposed could provide a small temporary cut if local authorities pass the money on to the taxpayer. For example, a property tax bill of $1,000 could be reduced by $10 if all of the LAVTR was passed on to the taxpayer. That would not be a solution for the ever increasing property appraisals that are automatically increasing your taxes. We need a solution that addresses the heart of the problem and that is what I am bringing forward in the Senate.
What about our president ... he brought back prayer in our public schools last week.
It’s an honor and privilege serving as your senator.