Some say the state could sell some of its buildings and land. Others suggest going after tax cheats and Medicaid fraudsters, privatizing services, or raising the court fees for criminals.
But Sen. Mary Pilcher Cook may have just offered the most unique idea so far: impose a sales tax on abortion.
Pilcher Cook, a Shawnee Republican, offered the idea as an amendment today as the Senate debates a 1-cent sales tax increase. Her amendment would also decrease the proposed sales tax hike to .9 cents.
She noted that governments routinely use tax policy to effect behavior – cigarette and liquor taxes, for example, or tax breaks designed to spur economic activity.
“If you want less of something, you tax it,” Pilcher Cook said.
Several Senators liked the idea. Sen. Susan Wagle, a Wichita Republican, said it would not only reduce abortions, it might also convince another late-term abortion provider from setting up shop in Kansas now that George Tiller’s clinic is closed.
Most resisted the idea, though no critics voiced opposition to the abortion tax. Instead, they argued against reducing the overall sales tax increase.
Pilcher Cook’s amendment failed 17-22.