News Columns & Blogs

Lawmakers switched sides on tax increase

Twenty-six Kansas House lawmakers who either voted for or against a sales-tax increase in 2002 switched positions during the sales-tax vote this past session, the Topeka Capital-Journal reported. The total was evenly split, with 13 Republicans who voted for the 2002 tax increase voting for it this year, and 13 Democrats who opposed the 2002 tax increase supporting this year's increase. Republicans who switched sides include House Speaker Mike O'Neal, R-Hutchinson, and House Majority Leader Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell. One reason offered for the change in position was that in 2002 the governor who called for a tax increase was a Republican, Gov. Bill Graves. Democrats who changed views included Wichita Reps. Nile Dillmore and Geraldine Flaharty.