Kansas The Latest To Suspend Tax Refunds

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Economy, Kansas

And much like California, they may have to limit their employees from coming to work because they might not be able to meet payroll. In fact, it’s almost a certainty that they’ll have to make serious cutbacks immediately. And this was a crisis that is completely out of the control of any Governor’s control.

Still, that hasn’t stopped the GOP from essentially using this financial crisis to get their agenda pushed through.

From the Wichita Eagle:

The state doesn’t have enough money in its main bank account to pay its bills, prompting Democratic Gov. Kathleen Sebelius to suggest transferring $225 million from other accounts throughout state government. But the move required approval from legislative leaders, and the GOP refused Monday.

Budget Director Duane Goossen said that without the money, he’s not sure the state can meet its payroll. State employees are due to be paid again Friday.

Goossen said the state stopped processing income tax refunds last week.

GOP leaders are hoping to pressure Sebelius into signing a bill making $326 million in adjustments to the budget for the fiscal year that ends June 30.

What’s more, the shortfall would effect more people than just state employees…

Goossen said the state might also have to delay payments to public schools and to doctors who provide care to Kansans under the Medicaid program.

I don’t know, I think this is a losing strategy by Republicans. They might position this as fiscal responsibility but when you’re talking about money going to public schools and medical care for seniors, well, I think they’re playing with populist fire.

A side note, all of this is happening as Sebelius is being thought of for the HHS job. I’m thinking that this crisis will make it next to impossible for her to jump ship.

More as it develops…


This entry was posted on Tuesday, February 17th, 2009 and is filed under Economy, Kansas. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

6 Responses to “Kansas The Latest To Suspend Tax Refunds”

  1. Jesi Says:

    They’ve already started holding back money from public schools. I got an email the other day that at my middle school, two of the three gifted positions are being cut. Gift paraprofessionals at all Shawnee Mission schools are being cut. Also, five middle school teacher positions (I’m not sure if this is just at Westridge or across the district) are being cut.

    I’m horrified that the district is forced to do this.

  2. Snarkless J. Harden Says:

    Here’s to ya’ KS Republicans (I mean the real ones, not the Johnson County ones). If Sebelius really cared about paying the bills she could make budget cuts. That’s not what this is about. This is about the new free-lunch mentality of Democrats and an unwillingness to show any political courage or leadership during difficult times (like cutting spending). Good job, KS Republicans — real Kansans appreciate your fiscal responsibility all the more for its political inconvenience.

  3. kranky kritter Says:

    Still, that hasn’t stopped the GOP from essentially using this financial crisis to get their agenda pushed through.

    I am mystified. Please explain to me why insisting on budget cuts in response to a financial crisis is “pushing an agenda.”

    A budget gap can be closed either by cutting spending or by increasing revenue. That’s it. Those are the 2 ways, with marginal exceptions. Moving money around doesn’t do anything. It simply defers and exacerbates the shortfalls.

    I see no reason why, if the GOP believes cuts are crucial now, they ought to rubber stamp an approach that fails to address the core issue of the gap between revenue and expenses.

    Of course cuts are regrettable. But that does nott speak to whether they are necessary,

  4. John Burke Says:

    I really do sympathize with anyone losing part of a state program they want or like or even need. But are there really no programs that can be cut or even trimmed in government when times are bad, and other people who are not public employees are losing jobs left and right. I was for many years a member of my local board of education, a public official with one-fifth of the taxing authority that levied more than half of all local real estate taxes. I was on that board through a recession and a long period of growth, and through a period of sharp retrenchment of federal funds and a drop in state aid. We took pains to adjust our plans looking forward five years and managed to do nicely without big tax increases or a loss of out system’s reputatiion as outstanding.

    Then, there are local governments, including school systems, that are badly managed from year to year or even month to month. The latter will suck up most of the new federal dough. No teachers will lose their jobs — not even crummy not-yet-tenured teachers who might otherwise be let go softly through layoffs.

    We need a big boost to the economy — but let’s not all swallow our own propaganda.

  5. Clint Gentry Says:

    Go to this site and help stop the Republican Blackmail in our fine state. We stand behind Sebelius!

    http://www.ksdp.org/RepublicanBlackmail

  6. Rich Horton Says:

    Hmm… state stops paying refunds owed to tax payers, but instead wants to shift money around to make sure state employees (including the Governor and legislature) get theirs.

    If I’m a tax payer in Kansas I’m gonna get mad about this why exactly? Because schools (which I already pay property taxes for – Kansas has the 13th highest property tax rate in the nation) aren’t getting extra money?

    Things are literally tough all over. For that very reason voters will feel the abscence of their own refund more than they will worry about education or anything else that doesn’t keep a roof over people’s heads.

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