Parkinson won’t second-guess Brownback on sales tax

“This 1-cent sales tax will only last for three years, then drop to 0.4 cents to pay for the ongoing transportation plan,” wrote Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson (in photo) in July 2010, arguing the statewide sales-tax increase would avert a sixth round of budget cuts and help fund schools, public safety and social services. But now Republican Gov. Sam Brownback is lobbying the House to join the Senate and extend the full 6.3 percent sales-tax rate – to avoid cuts to higher education and other items in a budget under pressure from last year’s deep income-tax cuts. How does Parkinson feel about the likelihood of his temporary tax hike being made permanent? When The Eagle editorial board e-mailed Parkinson, now president and chief executive officer of the American Health Care Association in Washington, D.C., he said: “I believe that interjecting myself in current issues would just be noise and not helpful. Running a state is not easy. The current governor and Legislature don’t need me second-guessing their actions.”