Did a vote by Raj Goyle last week in favor of ending the Kansas corporate income tax signal a genuine shift in his mindset, or was it merely election-year posturing?
Goyle, a Democrat who represents parts of east and southeast Wichita, is a candidate for the Democratic Party nomination for United States Congress from the fourth district of Kansas.
Last week on the floor of the Kansas House of Representatives, Richard Carlson, a Republican from St. Marys and chairman of the House Taxation Committee, offered an amendment to a bill. The main purpose of the amendment was to eliminate the Kansas corporate income tax. The text of the amendment and the recorded vote appear in the journal for March 16, 2010, starting on page 1130.
The amendment failed on a recorded vote by a margin of 84 to 30.
Goyle was the only Democrat in the House to vote in favor of the measure. This is out of character for the congressional hopeful. In 2009, according to vote rankings prepared by Americans for Prosperity-Kansas, 18 members of the Kansas House had a more liberal voting record than Goyle, while six had the same score as Goyle. There are 125 members in the House.
In the 2008 rankings prepared by the Kansas Taxpayers Network, only 11 of 125 members had a lower — meaning farther left on the political spectrum — score than Goyle.
This vote to end Kansas corporate income taxes also is surprising considering Goyle’s past employment with the Center for American Progress, an organization with a definite liberal agenda. It explicitly advocates for higher taxes to fund increased government spending.
So as I hope you can understand, I just had to put an astonisher after this headline. Goyle hasn’t responded to an email message requesting comment.
Update: In 2008 Goyle voted in favor of HB 2762, which proposed to reduce corporate income taxes by several measures. This bill passed the House by a wide margin.