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Tax hike appears inevitable in Kansas after schools ruling

Associated Press - March 5, 2017 4:30 am

Many Kansas legislators see their work toward complying with a state Supreme Court mandate on public school funding as unfinished.

A big tax increase for Kansas appears inevitable as the state wrestles with budget problems.

Even many Republicans are focused on rolling back past income tax cuts that are GOP Gov. Sam Brownback’s biggest political legacy. GOP moderates were working with Democrats in both chambers.

A state Supreme Court ruling this week that the state isn’t spending enough money on its public schools only bolstered many lawmakers’ support for raising income taxes.

The court directed legislators to enact a new school funding law by June 30 without setting a spending target. Figures lawmakers are circulating involve hundreds of millions of new dollars.

Democrats and moderate Republicans already were looking at boosting income taxes to close projected budget shortfalls totaling more than $1 billion through June 2019.