Gov. Brownback Now Wants To Raise Taxes On Cigarettes And Liquor

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January 16, 2015 4:06 p.m.

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R) announced Friday that he would look into raising taxes as a way of fixing his state’s budget woes. It’s a big shift for Brownback, who previously instituted deep tax cuts that have plagued Kansas’s economy.

According to Politico, Brownback’s budget plan now proposes raising cigarette taxes from 79 cents per pack to $2.29 per pack. Taxes on liquor would rise from 8 percent to 12 percent, according to The Wichita Eagle.

The Kansas governor also proposed raising overall taxes in the state by $211 million in the next fiscal year, which begins in July, according to the Eagle.

But he simultaneously proposed making future tax cuts based on projections of Kansas’s revenue. Earlier in the week, Brownback said he would continue his plan to completely phase out the state’s income tax.

“We will continue our march to zero income taxes,” Brownback said Thursday in his State of the State address. “States with no income tax consistently grow faster than those with high income taxes.”

In November, analysts projected that Kansas would have to make $278 million in budget cuts in the first six months of 2015 to get to a balanced budget.

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