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Originally published Friday, January 8, 2010 at 2:33 PM

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New Kansas coalition to lobby for higher taxes

A new coalition in Kansas is lobbying legislators to raise taxes this year to close a budget shortfall.

The Associated Press

TOPEKA, Kan. —

A new coalition in Kansas is lobbying legislators to raise taxes this year to close a budget shortfall.

Kansans for Quality Communities kicked off its campaign Friday with a Statehouse news conference. The coalition includes organizations representing teachers, state workers and groups that serve the elderly and disabled.

Spokesmen for those groups said the state has already cut the budget enough and will hurt schools and the needy if it tries to go further.

Kansas lawmakers open their annual session Monday and must close a budget shortfall approaching $400 million for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

Coalition members said responsible tax policy includes eliminating tax exemptions and rethinking tax breaks granted in recent years.

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