Judicial Mandates to Cause Tax Increase in Kansas?

July 6, 2005

Kansas lawmakers are currently in a special session –the state’s first since 1989– in order to provide $143 million in additional education spending mandated by the Kansas Supreme Court. Fortunately for Kansans it appears lawmakers will resist raising taxes to pay for the brazen order of the court. However, the mandate might require taxes to be raised in the near future. From Tax Analysts’ State Tax Notes:

With the Kansas Legislature deadlocked July 2 after an 11-day special session and scheduled to take a three-day recess, the Kansas Supreme Court issued a brief statement acknowledging that lawmakers had failed to comply with the court’s June 3 order to provide at least $143 million in additional public school funding by July 1.

Lawmakers appeared to have taken new taxes and expanded gambling options off the table — at least temporarily — in deciding how to produce the additional funding.

Many argued that additional funding of some sort is necessary to begin to comply with the court’s estimate that up to $568 million in additional funds might be necessary for the 2006-07 school year. But the decision as to whether new taxes will be part of that equation appears now to have been deferred until the 2006 session.

A substantial tax increase in Kansas would be detrimental to both individual taxpayers as well business in the state. See our latest commentary for a further discussion of Kansas’ tax climate.


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