October 4, 2023

Keeping Media and Government Accountable.

Reporter Calls Out Brownback in Series of Tweets

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A brief debate on Twitter shows a Topeka Capital-Journal reporter calling out Gov. Sam Brownback and his staff about consumption taxes.

Jonathan Shoreman tweeted, “Brownback’s admin appears open to sales tax increases in op-ed by KDOR economist Michael Austin sent to reporters.” The tweet includes an attachment to a quote in an opinion piece, “The 400-Meter Hurdle to Economic Prosperity,” written by Kansas Department of Revenue economist Michael Austin.

Austin’s op-ed uses hurdles as a metaphor for the race to economic gain.

“Kansas state government is funded primarily from sales and income tax. If these taxes could serve as hurdles on our way to financial gain, then is one better than the other?” Austin writes. “Using the example of hurdles may shed light on the need to fund state government with consumption taxes and less of a reliance on income taxes.”

Austin tweeted that his editorial is educational.


Shorman tweeted that the legislature and Brownback increased sales taxes in 2015, but sales tax increases aren’t part of Brownback’s 2017 budget proposal.

Austin wasn’t the only Brownback administration staff member to respond.

Ian Fury, a policy analyst for Gov. Brownback, also tweeted to Shorman’s saying there’s nothing new to see here.


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