State Senator Tom Holland (D-Baldwin City)
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Kansas State Senator Tom Holland met with about a dozen constituents during a Town Hall Forum at the Eudora Rec Center on Saturday. Holland, who recently started his second term as State Senator for the 3rd District, spent nearly an hour talking about the proposals in front of the House and Senate in the Legislature.
Holland spent a majority of the Forum discussing the Governor’s proposed tax plan. Governor Brownback announced during his State of the State Address a proposal that included lower income tax rates for workers but eliminates the mortgage deductions for homeowners and keeps the sales tax in place that is scheduled to sunset later this summer.
“We have a tax plan that this year, fully annualized, will cost us $803 million just the first year alone” Holland said. “When I say the cost, that’s the huge cut in income tax less the elimination of various tax credits that make up that bill.”
Holland also took issue with the Governor’s desire to eventually eliminate the state income tax.
“Income tax, both individual and corporate, make up half of our total state revenue stream,” Holland stated. “What it means to me, is that you will see a significantly much more regressive tax system in the state..much more heavily loaded up with sales taxes at the local and state level. There’s already significant pressure on property taxes, your going to see those go through the roof.”
Some notables were in the audience as well to hear what Holland had to say. Jolene Born who is currently running for City Commission as well as several leaders of the Eudora School District were in attendance. Superintendent Don Grosdidier along with Board Members Mike Kelso (also running for reelection) and Dr. Daniel Dickerson seemed fearful of what could happen to the School District in regards to School District financing that is currently before the State Courts.
“The one critical piece is the whole issue of equity within schools, “Grosdider said to Holland. “If you take the courts out of it and leave it entirely up to a one-sided legislature and a one-sided governor and do something like reducing the cap on the LOB and local governments to raise as much as they want, the Johnson Counties of the world can easily fund their schools at the level they need to be funded, but a community like Eudora cannot and we go back to what we were before 1992.”
Holland, one of only 8 Democrats in the Kansas Senate, admitted that it will be difficult sledding to try to makes changes to the plan with a conservative House, Senate and Governor.