Top Morning News 11.26.12

Nov 26, 2012

Primers on new tax law to be posted; Kline's lawyers want a probe in wake of fired research lawyer; The 'Fiscal Cliff' threatens meals for senior citizens

KS Agency Posting Tax Guidance Ahead Of New Law

The Kansas Department of Revenue is posting guidance regarding two provisions of the state income tax law ahead of changes that take effect in January.

Spokesperson Jeannine Koranda says that the guidance lets accountants, tax attorneys and residents know how the agency will be interpreting inconsistencies within the law. One of the items deals with how taxpayers will be able to use itemized deductions to reduce their tax liability.

Koranda says the revenue department will ask the 2013 Legislature to make changes to the law to codify the guidance. The new income tax changes eliminate the individual income tax for about 190,000 qualifying businesses, including limited liability companies and sole proprietorships. Also, the overall rate for individual taxpayers will decrease effective with their first paycheck in January.

Kline Lawyer Wants Probe Of Research Attorneys

Phill Kline's attorney alleges that the court record in an ethics case may have been tainted by a research attorney fired for posting disparaging Twitter comments about the former Kansas attorney general.

Tom Condit wrote a letter to the disciplinary administrator for the judicial branch asking for a review of all research attorneys working for judges and justices to determine whether there was bias. Sarah Peterson-Herr was fired November 19, four days after she posted comments about Kline as he appeared before the Kansas Supreme Court over alleged misconduct during his investigation of abortion providers.

A court spokesperson declined to comment about Condit's letter or what action, if any, the disciplinary administrator would take to address the concerns.

'Fiscal Cliff' Threatens Senior Citizens' Meals

If Congress fails to come up with a package of budget cuts and tax hikes to avoid the automatic cuts scheduled for the first of January, thousands of senior citizens in Kansas may not get a daily, hot lunch.


Kansas Town Hopes To Reopen School As Charter

An associate professor and graduate students at McPherson College want to transform a recently closed school in Mount Hope into a public charter school.

Mark Malaby of McPherson College says that to be financially sustainable, the Mount Hope charter school has to attract students not currently enrolled in the Haven district. That would allow it to bring in additional state aid.

The plan calls for a project-based "rural life" charter school. It would serve kindergartners through high-schoolers. They hope such a school would appeal to families in northwest Wichita, less than 30 minutes away, or to families who are home-schooling children.