Wednesday afternoon, the Kansas Legislature took action on HB 2178, with the majority of House members voting to overturn Governor Sam Brownback’s veto of the bill that would have ended his 2012 signature tax policy.
Barton County’s Representatives were split, with Troy Waymaster and Greg Lewis in favor of overturning the veto, and Tori Marie Arnberger against. Senator Mary Jo Taylor voted in favor of overturning the veto also when the override vote came to the Senate chambers after clearing the first hurdle at the House. It was close, but in the it was three votes short of being successful, and the veto was sustained. Now, its back to the drawing board.
Sadly, looking back, there were many in Kansas from both sides of the aisle who were eager to allow Kansas to take part in Brownback’s experiment and see if it could work. Unfortunately, in our optimism, we failed to consider that there would be so many who would take advantage of the new law by changing their corporate structures to avoid paying the taxes they had been paying prior to the policy change.
While its not against the law, its far from fair. They made Brownback and the voters of Kansas look like laughing-stocks to the rest of the country, and they laughed all the way to the bank. Why it isn’t perfectly clear to everyone now that the experiment failed continues to baffle.
Now is the time to bail-out this sinking ship, and the way to do it is by plugging the holes. It’s going to take the efforts of all Kansans to do it, and its going to be hard work, but not impossible. We’re frugal and responsible people, and when the cause is fiscal responsibility, surely we can all carry our load. We can’t complain bitterly about the state of our state’s finances, but when it comes to solving the problem bemoan our personal responsibility.
There’s still time for our legislators to come up with solutions that will keep us afloat. It’s up to all of us to listen and consider what’s best for all Kansans, not simply our own situation.