While many elected officials
are reluctant to sign off on tax hikes they know will be unpopular
with constituents and voters, Kansas Governor Bill Graves must
be especially anxious about his current predicament as the state's
chief executive officer.
The governor recently
signed legislation boosting the state's fuel tax on gasoline
and diesel fuel by 2 cents per gallon, as well as legislation
increasing registration fees by $2 to $10 per vehicle. Gov.
Graves also signed legislation increasing the statewide sales
tax from 4.9 percent to 5.33 percent.
Even with the new tax
revenues, state spending is expected to be down on transportation
by $146 million for FY2003.
After Gov. Graves' term
expires in November, he is expected to take the helm as president
of the American Trucking Associations. While the hiring took
place sometime back, imagine if it were occurring today and
the interviewer asked what the governor had done in his previous
-- Todd Spencer, LL