Sen. Steve Fitzgerald was among those stunned by the Senate’s “emergency” rush to pass a tax hike.

The Kansas Senate passed a bill on Friday that would launch a massive tax hike. The bill raises income taxes and ends a tax exemption for more than 300,000 business owners, a certain percentage of whom moved to the state to take advantage of the exemption.

State Senator Steve Fitzgerald is among those legislators appalled by the way the tax increase was passed through the Kansas House and Senate. As Fitzgerald explained, the president of the Senate, Susan Wagle (R-Wichita), forced the bill, Sub HB 2178, to the floor after eighty minutes of discussion and no consideration in committee. The bill had passed the House with minimal discussion as well. Wagle encouraged Governor Sam Brownback to not veto it, then turned around and voted against it herself. Said Fitzgerald, “The whole action gives duplicity a bad name.”

 

The bill, Fitzgerald argues, is the inevitable result of the liberal pushback of the 2016 election. As he points out, thirteen of the fourteen new senators voted for the bill as did all Democratic senators save one who felt the bill did not raise taxes enough.

“There is no budget plan, no strategy, no objective except to take more money from Kansans,” says Fitzgerald. The bill’s proponents, he believes, “want to avoid having to face the necessity of making cuts to government spending, cuts that will upset some constituents dependent on continuing and increasing the flow of dollars from your wallet into theirs.”

Expect Gov. Brownback to veto. Fitzgerald hopes he will.

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