Kansas lawmakers are looking for ways to come up with cash to respond to a court ruling that says the state needs to spend more on schools. Currently, the House Tax Committee is considering a plan to raise property taxes.
The proposal would boost property taxes over three years, topping out with a $659 million increase. The plan met urban and rural opposition in a hearing on Tuesday. Realtors said the tax hike would make it harder to buy a home. It would also hit farmers by raising taxes on their land.
Steven McCloud, with the Kansas Farm Bureau, says low commodity prices already mean many farmers are struggling.
“Farm income since 2013 in the state of Kansas has dropped dramatically," McCloud says. "Adding this to that would make already red ink even redder, if you will.”
The chairman of the committee, Republican Steven Johnson, says he’s not surprised by the reaction, but he wants to make sure lawmakers explore all funding ideas.
Stephen Koranda is Statehouse reporter for Kansas Public Radio, a partner in the Kansas News Service. Follow him on Twitter @KPRKoranda.
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