Mon April 29, 2013
Analysis: Kansas Higher Ed Budget Tied To Sales Tax
Kansas higher education officials are depending upon Gov. Brownback to convince lawmakers to preserve money for public universities and colleges.
Brownback toured university and community college campuses last week to highlight education's importance to the state economy.
The governor and other Republicans want Kansas to phase out individual income taxes over the next few years.
To replace that lost funding, Gov. Brownback wants to make a temporary sales tax that's set to expire in July permanent.
Under Brownback's proposals, total spending on higher education would remain about $2.5 billion dollars next year.
About $775 million dollars would be financed with state tax dollars - as opposed to tuition dollars or federal funds.
That's four-tenths of a percent more than the amount in the current budget.
Senator Tom Arpke of Salina says until the legislature passes the tax package, he has "absolutely no idea what kind of funding we're going to get to work with."
Senator Laura Kelly of Topeka is suspicious of Gov. Brownback's push to save higher education funding. She says that the push is "being played out just to put pressure on legislators not to sunset the sales tax."