House Majority Leader Don Hineman sent a letter to Kansas newspapers explaining his vote to increase taxes, and one former legislator took Hineman to task once the Majority Leader’s letter appeared in the Independence Daily Reporter.
In a rebuttal to Hineman, Virgil Peck, who served in the Kansas House from 2011 to 2015, wrote Hineman’s letter to the paper was “clearly a not-so-subtle attempt to continue the false narrative about some of the actions taken by the 2017 legislature and to sway the thinking of voters.”
Specifically, Peck takes Hineman to task for saying that raising taxes was the only responsible option available. Peck writes there was another option: cutting spending. Peck served on the House Appropriations Committee and lists a number of cuts he proposed, including:
- Quit subsidizing college athletics and save $5 million
- Stop paying legislator memberships and travel to conferences and save $400,000
- Cut legislative postage allotment and put a postage limit on leadership and save up to $100,000
- Stop using taxpayer money to fund public radio and save $500,000
“I could mention more,” Peck writes. “…Additionally, why not run all lottery, casino, and sales tax revenue through the state general fund, giving better legislative oversight on how it is spent?”
Hineman calls the word “retroactive” a buzz word, a statement Peck finds laughable.
“I will put it as simple as possible so all can understand that the five-year, $3 billion tax increase is retroactive,” Peck writes.
Hineman says those lawmakers that opposed the largest tax hike and largest budget in state history are using misleading rhetoric to convince voters to support them.
“Mr. Hineman, you might take a look in the mirror to see who it is that is spewing misleading rhetoric,” Peck concludes.