It is a reversal, in many ways, of recent trends toward deep tax cuts, led by states like Kansas, where Gov. Sam Brownback (R) and the Republican-dominated legislature slashed rates on individuals and businesses in hopes of spurring economic growth. Kansas now faces a $350 million budget hole this year, and a likely $600 million gap next year.
This year, a coalition of centrist Republicans and Democrats are plotting new tax hikes to plug those holes. The legislature is likely to roll back a tax cut on small businesses Brownback signed in 2012, while also raising gas taxes.
Other states have taken notice of Kansasís budget woes, effectively putting the brakes on some efforts to adopt similar tax cuts.
At least eight other states, including Tennessee, Arizona and Missouri, are considering raising gas taxes specifically aimed at paying for transportation and infrastructure projects. As vehicles become more fuel efficient, gas taxes have produced less revenue, squeezing state budgets.