Archive for Thursday, November 29, 2007

Anti-tax groups want to limit state spending

November 29, 2007

Advertisement

— Anti-tax groups on Wednesday launched a statewide advertising campaign to pressure the Legislature to hold down spending.

Alan Cobb, state director of the Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity, said the public needs to get involved in the budget debate because of a looming fiscal crisis.

"We have to get this spending under control," Cobb said.

The radio and newspaper ads call on the Legislature, when it comes into session in January, to limit the state budget to $6.3 billion. Cobb said that would allow for a spending increase for inflation and population growth from the previous year's budget.

But Alan Conroy, director of the Kansas Legislative Research Department, said a $6.3 billion budget for the fiscal year that starts July 1 would mean no state employee pay raise, and no increase for regents universities and community colleges. That is because, he said, $6.3 billion is needed to cover commitments state officials have already made to public schools, the pension system and growth in social services.

And assertions made by the groups in a 60-second radio ad fail to mention some budgetary details.

For instance, the ad says that state spending increased $1 billion over two years.

That's true, but the ad doesn't say that much of that increase was ordered by the Kansas Supreme Court in the school finance lawsuit.

The ads are paid for by AFP, the Kansas Taxpayer Network and National Federation of Independent Business.

Cobb said he didn't know how much would be spent on the campaign because his group was continuing to raise funds to increase the frequency of when the ads run.

He said AFP will present a "model state budget" to legislators in January.

Comments

Stephen Roberts 7 years, 6 months ago

I wish this group would also take on the schoold sitricts. I looked at my real estate taxes and the school district gets over half of my real estate taxes.

fetch 7 years, 6 months ago

This is just the rich wanting more. AFP is just a front for the Koch brothers and buddies who preach against government spending....unless it is a contract with them.... Alan Cobb is just a hack. Their usual suggestion, adoption of TABOR is so horrible, that their poster-child state,Colorado, was forced to gut it just recently.

Bad suggestions, that sound good, from those who are already obscenely rich, and have benefited the most, from Bush's tax-cuts.

SettingTheRecordStraight 7 years, 6 months ago

Fetch, Even if your assertion were true, who cares? If we take money away from government and give it to the people, the people will put it back into the economy through either spending or saving. Lower taxes for any tax bracket benefits everyone because it puts more into the economy, not into the hands of government. When we give it to the government, it gets flushed down the toilet.

My experience is, if someone is complaining about tax cuts, they're pet special interest group is benefitting from the taxes other people have to pay.

AFP, I want to send you a check to help you with your radio spots. Where do I mail my contribution?

johngalt 7 years, 6 months ago

Fetch,

Nice informed comments that really bring a lot to the debate about taxes and spending.

Voter approval is still required for every tax increase in Colorado. State revenues above the TABOR limits will be spent on specific voter-approved projects in Colorado, just at the TABOR law allows and envisioned. TABOR worked and is working there.

And what exactly is a bad about the suggestion to reduce the growth in state government?

You might try getting better inforrmed before you spout offf.

dagopman 7 years, 6 months ago

I am far from rich or wealthy or even comfortable, but I, too, benefited from the Bush tax cuts. The fact that someone else benefited more doesn't cause me any concern. Those that pay more in taxes should get a larger tax refund. The tax structure and tax cuts shouldn't be about redistribution of wealth.

dirkleisure 7 years, 6 months ago

"more in taxes." As a percentage, or as a gross number? If I make $4 million a year, and my tax rate is 1%, I'm paying "more in taxes" than a guy making $20,000 a year whose tax rate is 10%. I deserve a tax cut?

You want to reduce the growth in state government? Then reduce the cost of providing health care or the cost of building materials. AFP is talking about a spending increase of 3.5%, which they claim takes into account "inflation" and population growth.

Unfortunately, their 3.0% "inflation" increase is a consumer number based upon billions of dollars worth of spending that government doesn't expend. Much of what government is asked by its citizens to spend money on has annual cost increases of closer to 7% a year, such as health care.

"Inflation" is a lovely term if you are mainly purchasing consumable goods. Not very relevant to the type of spending citizens expect out of their government.

dagopman 7 years, 6 months ago

Dirk,

Your numbers are skewed. High wage earners pay a considerably higher tax rate than lower income earners and deserve the same percentage tax refund as others.

dagopman 7 years, 6 months ago

Dirk,

You appear to be an advocate of the "fair tax" where everyone pays the same percentage sales tax for consumable goods. I am studying this proposal but also like portions of it. By the way, AFP also favors this same tax plan.

dirkleisure 7 years, 6 months ago

High wage earners most certainly do not pay a higher percentage of their income than low wage earners. For proof, ask a high wage earner such as Warren Buffett. He pays a lower percentage than his secretary, and wants you do know about it.

My numbers are for use simply as an example, but the question remains - when people say, "more in taxes," do they mean higher percentages or higher gross amounts? It is a myth to say high wage earners pay a higher percentage of their income.

And you are confusing taxation on consumable goods with the definition of "inflation" and how "inflation" relates to government spending.

Mkh 7 years, 6 months ago

"High wage earners most certainly do not pay a higher percentage of their income than low wage earners. For proof, ask a high wage earner such as Warren Buffett. He pays a lower percentage than his secretary, and wants you do know about it."

This is a complete distortion of the truth. Yes, Warren Buffet pays less but he is certainly not a typical "high wage earner". The middle class and upper middle class pay far more taxes than the lower class, as they should, but the fact is they are completely overtaxed as well as the poor.

"We have to get this spending under control," Cobb said.

^ This is what really needs to happen. Tax cuts are meaningless if we also increase spending, this is crystal clear after 7 years of the Bush policies. Government Debt is a form of taxation against the people, especially the poor people, who brunt the majority of burden when the dollar falls and inflation rises due to over government spending and currency printing.

Godot 7 years, 6 months ago

TABOR is precisely what Kansas needs.

Godot 7 years, 6 months ago

I think it should be required that people who make tax policy be able to recite, by memory, the tax code. If they cannot, then it is a given they do not understand everything that is in it, and therefore are incapable of making any recommendations about it.

The solution is to make the tax code simple enough for the Legislature or Congress member with the lowest IQ to understand. That would mean one page.....in really large print.

fletch 7 years, 6 months ago

For those of you tax abolitionists out there, please do the following: 1) Cancel your internet, because the infrastructure is subsidized by taxes (plus, as a bonus, we can stop having to read your inane drivel) 2) Stop driving on the roads, or walking on the sidewalks 3) Feel free to not call the police or fire department (or national gaurd) next time you're in trouble (not only tax payer funded, but also a socialist system! shock!) 4) Buy your food directly from the farmer or rancher (you can thank taxes for price controls in the supermarket) 5) Dig your own well, and set up solar or wind collectors for power

Let's see how much you enjoy your tax-free quality of life.

johngalt 7 years, 6 months ago

Fletch,

More intelligent comments.

Being for limiting spending increases and for tax reductions doesn't mean we don't want government. We'd like more effecient government.

What taxes do you want to raise and how much? How many more roads do you want built? Should we double the police force? Should we build a few more higher ed campuses?

This plan appears to be for inflationary increases, not eliminating sidwalks.

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

TABOR does not work. That is the bottom line. Kansas chapter of Americans for Prosperity and Kansas Club for Growth are backed by folks like Jim Ryun and Sam Brownback who love corporate welfare and sweet retirement benefits courtesy of tax dollars. Notice Ryun wants more tax dollars and special interest money and Brownback is still on the tax dollar tit.

Fiscal conservatives suffered a setback on Tuesday when Colorado voters approved Referendum C with 53 percent of the vote. Referendum C will suspend Colorado's Taxpayer Bill of Rights (TABOR) for the next five years, allowing the legislature to spend rather than rebate, a projected $3.7 billion in revenues.

Beware TABOR Is Coming http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0705rebne.html

Richard Heckler 7 years, 6 months ago

Corruption and corporate special interests are the big problem for tax dollars such that we have right here in Lawrence,Kansas. Yes mismanagement is the largest problem.

Godot 7 years, 6 months ago

Defender, you win some, you lose some....

sdinges 7 years, 6 months ago

Obviously there are some misconceptions about high-earners and their tax brackets. The more you make, the more you pay - percentage wise.

Once you hit around 100,000 a year (per individual), you're looking at paying close to 50 percent of your income in state, federal and other taxes. That is... if you don't do any fancy footwork with an accountant and financial advisors. Nevertheless, with the help of these individuals, you would be lucky to reach a corporation's 35 percent tax rate - and you might be breaking a few laws. Instead, you'd likely be able to reach 40 percent or so, and may well find yourself being audited fairly regularly by the IRS.

The way taxes work, someone making 60,000 dollars a year may be bringing home more money than someone making 100,000 dollars a year. So keep that in mind while you're working toward your university degree or dreaming about a big promotion - because that future you work and dream for, for your kids or yourself involves massive tax payments. Also, when you think about winning the lottery or watching Deal or No Deal, remember that the government wants its half of that too.

63BC 7 years, 6 months ago

The Proposition C vote in Colorado shows the beauty of TABOR, the voters have the power to suspend it temporarily.

If the government wants to increase spending beyond what's called for under the formula, they have to ask the people's permission.

The Proposition C vote shows TABOR works and why the 'disaster' scenarios of its critics are wrong.

Charles L Bloss Jr 7 years, 6 months ago

TABOR sounds good to me. I'm sick and tired of my taxes and assessments continually growing every year. I am retired, and my home is growing old right along with me. How can it's value keep increasing? Eventually the governments (IRS, State, County) are going to drive me off of my property and out of the home I worked all my life to have. Other retirees are in worse shape than I am. We have all heard the stories of not eating to have money for taxes, medications, etc. The stories are true. I wish I lived in Texas or Colorado. We are investigating both, but my wife's family are all in this area. People should not have to be forced to move due to high taxes. Thank you, Lynn

sdinges 7 years, 6 months ago

Lynn731: "I am retired, and my home is growing old right along with me. How can it's value keep increasing?"

Tell me about it. I live in a suburban neighbourhood where houses sit on the market for 6 months to a year, and where a glut of newly made houses sit empty a couple of blocks away. There's a housing market decline and a credit crunch, which is causing fears of recession, and yet yesterday our property tax assessment comes and lo and behold, my house is still appreciating, and thus my tax bill!

Great for the government, I guess. And for me, if I wanted to sink myself into debt with some home equity lines of credit. Thanks.

Godot 7 years, 6 months ago

Speaking of tax paying time, we'd all better hope that our mortgage companies have played fair and honest with our escrow accounts, what with the cash crunch they are experiencing from the loan defaults.

Wilbur_Nether 7 years, 6 months ago

Well, you're about to be able to see how the State spends every penny of the money it receives. http://www2.ljworld.com/news/2007/jul... When it goes live, you can contact your legislators about every specific dollar you believe is misspent, with recommendations about how to cut that spending.

Commenting has been disabled for this item.