Tax Increases Sought To Address Budget

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback has proposed raising tobacco and liquor taxes and slowing down future income tax cuts to help close projected budget shortfalls.

Brownback released a plan Friday to nearly triple the state’s cigarette tax, to $2.29 a pack from 79 cents a pack.

He also proposed raising the state’s tax on alcoholic beverages to 12 percent from 8 percent.

Brownback also proposed making future personal income tax cuts more gradual than promised under reductions enacted in 2012 and 2013 at his urging to stimulate the economy.

The tax changes would raise an additional $394 million over the two years, starting in July.

The measures would help close projected shortfalls totaling more than $710 million in the current and next state budgets and balance the budget through June 2017.