Should be required reading for all Kansans

Check out this great article that a terrific statehouse reporter, Tim Carpenter, wrote in today’s Topeka Capital Journal. Tax breaks eroding budget | CJOnline.com

This should become a major public policy issue. Social work advocates and others concerned about where our state will get the money we need for essential services can’t continue to just fight over how that pie is divided up. We’re obviously not using enough ingredients, to extend the metaphor, so then we can’t be surprised when there’s not enough to go around.

The continuation of these tax breaks is a reflection both of a broken process–relatively little debate on the tax side of budgetary policy–and an inadequately strong lobby for the strong public expenditures our social contract requires.

I will raise this issue with my state senator and representative in advance of the 2010 legislative session, asking them specifically if they are willing to support a full review of sales tax exemptions and other tax ‘loopholes’, and which tax exemptions they are willing to repeal. If we can win on this issue, our debates over appropriations will be much less painful.

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