Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback drove his state into the gutter with a string of income tax cuts that were among the largest in history. As I explained in my story on Brownback’s struggling campaign, many typical Republican voters turned against the governor after it became clear that his trickle-down promises of wild economic growth looked a lot more like a sop to the state’s richest denizens, such as Charles Koch.
State revenues have regularly come in below projections this year. The state legislature’s nonpartisan numbers crunchers expect a $238 million budget deficit by summer 2016, and things will only grow worse as further tax cuts go into effect. How is the state going to make up the difference? Perhaps by getting into the sex toy business. From the Topeka Capital-Journal:
Kansas state government is on the verge of a financial windfall with the auctioning of thousands of sex toys seized by the revenue department for nonpayment of income, withholding and sales taxes, an official said Wednesday.
Online shoppers for adult DVDs, novelty items, clothing and other products can participate in a bonanza shopping experience resulting from the four-county raid on a Kansas company known as United Outlets LLC.
Owner Larry Minkoff, who was doing business under the Bang label, apparently resisted requests from the Kansas Department of Revenue for payment of $163,986 in state taxes.
The online site lists about 400 lots — individual lots can contain dozens of items — that include the Pipedream Fantasy Love Swing, books, hundreds of DVDs, sex and drinking games, a wide assortment of sexually oriented equipment, carrying cases for devices, the Glass Pleasure Wand, bundles of lingerie and the Cyberskin Foot Stroker.
Kansas officials explained to the Capital-Journal that this is the standard operating procedure when businesses can’t pay off their tax debts, though the list of available wares is a bit more colorful than usual.
The full online auction is available here, (that link takes you to the entry landing page, but should you venture past that it becomes quite NSFW).
The timing isn’t ideal for Brownback, though, as he’s been busy trying to capitalize on a racey scandal involving his Democratic opponent. Last week the Coffeyville Journal, a small-town, twice-weekly paper that lacks a website, revealed that in 1998, Brownback challenger Paul Davis had been at a strip club when the cops showed up in a drug raid. Davis, 26 at the time, counted the club owner among his firm’s legal clients, though at the time cops busted down the door he was receiving a lap dance from a topless dancer.
Davis wasn’t charged or implicated in the drug dealings, but Brownback’s camp has been using the incident to smear the Democrat as out of step with heartland values. Now that the Brownback administration has gotten into the sex toys business, that could be a tougher sell.