Gov. Kathleen Sebelius is calling for radical moves in solving the state's budget crisis. She outlined the revenue boosting package on Tuesday. She wants you to pay your property taxes a month earlier and plans to use tobacco lawsuit settlement money to raise cash. Some call it a quick fix, but Sebelius says she's struggling to bring the state budget under control and grappling with an unprecendented loss in state revenues.
Expanding gambling would give Kansas an extra $30 Million. Another $160 Million would come out of your wallet, by paying those property taxes earlier than normal. Some Wichitans on a fixed income don't like that though of paying property taxes early next year. But as lawmakers struggle to make the budget work, the Governor wants you to pay property taxes in May instead of June. We talked to county appraisers and the county clerk who say people don't come in early to pay their taxes now, so many won't be thrilled with the change. The early payment will not add any expenses for the county.
More money would come from "Big Tobacco." Back in 1998, tobacco companies settled a lawsuit, giving Kansas millions. Sebelius wants to sell $175 Million in bonds, backed by tobacco money. Representatives from the American Cancer Society say it's very disappointing because the intent of the settlement originally was to recoup the cost and to educate people in the state about the dangers if tobacco.
Lawmakers will start looking over the ideas this week. The Sebelius plan would raise an extra $224 Million in the next fiscal year.