Kansas Republicans condemn Kelly’s veto of tax bill
GOP leaders accuse governor of breaking a promise
TOPEKA, Kan. — Kansas’ new Democratic governor on Monday vetoed a tax relief bill approved by the Republican-controlled Legislature, arguing it would repeat an infamous fiscal experiment that failed under a GOP predecessor.
Top Republicans immediately condemned Gov. Laura Kelly’s action as allowing an unlegislated tax increase and hurting the state’s economy. The measure was aimed at preventing individuals and businesses from paying more in state income taxes because of changes in federal tax laws at the end of 2017.
Kelly told lawmakers in her veto message that the tax bill would have created another ” self-inflicted budget crisis. ”
” We simply cannot go backward now, ” Kelly told reporters Monday during a Statehouse news conference. ” We cannot fix our state if we repeat the mistakes of the past. ”
Kelly said she remains open to considering limited changes in tax laws that help working families if they’re offset by other changes that keep the package from lessening the state’s revenues.
However, she also said: ” The right thing in this case is to not mess with our tax structure at all right now, let our budget stabilize, let our revenues stabilize. ”
Senate President Susan Wagle and House Majority Leader Dan Hawkins said Kelly is breaking a promise she made in last year’s campaign not to raise taxes. The two Republicans argued that the bill they championed prevented an unlegislated tax increase.
” Today, Laura Kelly showed us how little her words mean, ” Wagle said. ” Hardworking Kansans know how to best spend their money and more of it should stay in their own pockets. ”
Hawkins has compared the tax debate to finding a wallet full of cash on the sidewalk with the owner’s ID.
He said: ” She kept the money for herself. ”
Like other states, Kansas faced the issue of revising its income tax code because it is tied to the federal tax code.
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