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Archive for Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gov.-elect Sam Brownback looking at tax overhaul

December 12, 2010

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— In recent years, Kansas legislators have been looking at proposed changes to the state tax structure as a way to squeeze out more revenue to pay for services in the face of historic revenue deficits.

The incoming administration of Gov.-elect Sam Brownback, however, is looking at ways to cut taxes in a way officials say will improve the economy and bring in the revenue needed to pay for state government.

Nick Jordan, Brownback’s appointee as secretary of revenue, said the administration hoped to develop “comprehensive tax policy” for legislators to consider when the 2011 session starts next month.

The idea is to encourage business growth and increase personal income, Jordan said.

That fits with Brownback’s statements last week. Referring to his campaign theme, Brownback, a Republican, said, “We laid out in detail our Road Map for Kansas that highlighted how we would create a globally competitive business environment through improved regulations, controlled spending and lower tax rates.”

House Speaker Mike O’Neal, R-Hutchinson, was speaking off the same page earlier in the week.

“I want to have a full-blown debate on tax policy,” he said. O’Neal said that could include reductions in the state personal and corporate income taxes.

When asked how taxes could be cut — given the state’s looming $500 million deficit — O’Neal said the Legislature needed to explore ways to cut taxes as a way to boost the economy. With economic growth, the necessary tax revenue takes care of itself, he said.

During the last legislative session, lawmakers wrestled with the idea of eliminating some of the current state sales tax exemptions as a way to raise revenue, but the proposals never gained traction.

Some conservative Republicans have said the best way to provide tax relief is to repeal the 1-cent increase in the state sales tax that was approved during the last session and went into effect July 1. That increased the state sales tax from 5.3 cents per dollar to 6.3 cents per dollar.

But Brownback opposes that idea, saying the full increase lasts only three years and then the rate goes down to 5.7 percent with a portion of that helping fund the state’s transportation plan.

He has said that controlling government spending and changing tax policy will be key.

“Our state still faces a nearly half-billion-dollar deficit. We are going to need to make some very difficult decisions,” the governor-elect said.

Comments

Bob_Keeshan 3 years, 8 months ago

Referring to his campaign theme, Brownback, a Republican, said, “We laid out in detail our Road Map for Kansas that highlighted how we would create a globally competitive business environment through improved regulations, controlled spending and lower tax rates.”


For instance, if you go to Brownback's campaign webpage you will see these "details":

1 - we want to improve regulations 2 - we want to control spending 3 - we want to lower tax rates

See all the detail? I hope Sam doesn't do much cooking, because the last time I checked you can't make lasagna by looking at a recipe that says, "Make lasagna."

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rtwngr 3 years, 8 months ago

Captain Kangaroo? I thought you were deceased? Maybe it's just your brain.

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notanota 3 years, 8 months ago

It's because that particular batch of sausage is made from screwing the elderly, the disabled, the universities, and the school children. It doesn't make nearly the pretty campaign prose. Oh, but the rich will get richer, and all our problems will be magically fixed. Hooray.

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KSManimal 3 years, 8 months ago

Allow me to translate governor Kochback's vagueness into plain English.

1 - we want to improve regulations = we want to eliminate any pesky laws that prevent Koch industries from screwing the middle class and wrecking the environment in pursuit of profits.

2 - we want to control spending = we want to slash public school funding and higher education funding in order to: A) give Koch industries additional tax cuts; B) ensure that only wealthy kids have access to decent K-12 schools and higher ed opportunities; C) pay for private school vouchers as a means to skirt around pesky church/state issues; and D) provide a sustainable "second class citizenry" for the wealthy, god-fearing white folk to exploit.

3 - we want to lower tax rates = we want lower corporate income tax rates, and lower personal income tax rates for wealthy folk. It's ok to keep higher sales tax rates, since those taxes disproportionately impact the working class; and in fact assist us in accomplishing much of what is outlined in #2.

If anyone believes I'm wrong in my translation, just remember actions speak louder than words - especially louder than vague words. Just sit back and watch what governor Kochback does. After a year or two, see if you can falsify my hypotheses.

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tomatogrower 3 years, 8 months ago

Couldn't have written it better myself. Thanks KSManimal.

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Pro_Counsel 3 years, 8 months ago

You and what, 6 other people?

And all of them public employees?

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topflight 3 years, 8 months ago

PS- don't blame me, I voted for McCain.

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notanota 3 years, 8 months ago

Well that was a stupid idea. He wasn't running for governor of Kansas.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 8 months ago

"The incoming administration of Gov.-elect Sam Brownback, however, is looking at ways to cut taxes in a way officials say will improve the economy and bring in the revenue needed to pay for state government."

Translation-- transfer the tax burden away from the wealthy and the corporations they own to the middle and lower classes.

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rtwngr 3 years, 8 months ago

After more than two decades of either Democrat or RINO governors, Sam Brownback will make a nice change. If you don't like him or Kobach, tough bounce. Better luck next election you cry babies.

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jafs 3 years, 8 months ago

Given that Brownback promised to protect education and social service funding, will you notice and hold him accountable if/when he does neither, and instead cuts their funding?

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boxturtle 3 years, 8 months ago

...a breath of fresh coal exhaust for Kansas

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Centerville 3 years, 8 months ago

Tom - agreed. I learned what was up with the last round of clowns when Wagnon argued before Ways and Means that Kansas businesses should not be allowed to take advantage of accelerated depreciation because [get this] it would mean that she could take less money away from them. Not only is that a reprehensible attitude, her numbers were the typical starving-grandma, rising-sea-levels, over-the-top and, of course, proven to be hysterical. I would like to hear one politician mention that what people earn is primarily theirs. Just one.

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tomatogrower 3 years, 8 months ago

Yet, you would probably be the first to whine about poor roads and lack of police. Then you would whine about people living in tents cities along the river, because that's all they can afford. Did you ever work for a company who would come in and tell everyone what a good job they are doing and how much profits went up this year, then they throw you a 5 cent an hour raise? I have. That's why I would never do that to my employees. They share in the good times and the bad, and I'm right up front with them. I don't earn 1000 times more than they do. Yes, I'm the boss, but I actually let things trickle down, unlike the likes of the Koch brothers and their cronies.

Why do you think this would be such a stable society to have some very rich people, and a whole lot of dirt poor people working for whatever scraps the rich throw them? Have you ever read history? Who do you think really created unions and spurred people like Karl Marx? It was the rich industrialists who refused to allow their money to trickle down to the people who were breaking their backs to make these people rich. How many of these CEO's and investors have become obscenely rich from their engineer's ideas, and the people who work in their factories? Not from their own ideas and hard labor. Yes, CEO's have to be leaders, but most of them just have MBA's and know how to kiss the right behinds. And look how many corporations award these guys with huge bonuses even when they make lousy short term decisions? A CEO runs a company into the ground and then keeps his job? or is given huge money to leave? Enough money to support 100 families comfortably? Do you really think it wasn't a good idea to fire GM's executives who even had a separate elevator put in, so they didn't have to mingle with the lowlies?
Go ahead. Try and accuse me of being jealous that I haven't figured out such a good scam. But what I am is disgusted. I have some morals. Anyone who worships these thieves are just as immoral as they are, even if you go to to church every week and pray to God. You worship money the rest of the week.

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verity 3 years, 8 months ago

I love a good rant---especially when it's right on the mark.

As opposed to those who hope Obama fails just for the sake of him failing even though the whole world would suffer because of it, I hope my predictions for Brownback are not true and that he succeeds in stimulating the economy. Unfortunately it looks like more voodoo economics to me.

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jafs 3 years, 8 months ago

Wait - you don't like Obama?

I'm shocked.

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voevoda 3 years, 8 months ago

TomShewmon, Nobody calls President Obama "The Anointed One" except you and your disrespectful right-wing buddies. The rest of us--the majority of the American electorate, that is--agree with the president on some things and disagree with him on others. He hasn't failed yet, and all patriotic Americans should hope that he does not, because his failure would exacerbate the economic suffering of our fellow-citizens. Maybe you are megarich, TomShewmon, but you are impoverished in compassion.

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scott3460 3 years, 8 months ago

Approximately 41 percent of the electorate voted in the midterms. Right wing politicians, funded by unlimited corporate backing, won majorities only of those who voted in the midterms. It is a very large stretch to claim the majority of Americans have rejected our President, or his policies.

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ajmag 3 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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sunny 3 years, 8 months ago

It could help to force the 47% of Americans who pay NO taxes to start paying. Flat tax is the way to go.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 8 months ago

If you want to see a larger percentage of people paying taxes, get the top 1% of the population that gets 25% of total income to start paying its low-wage employees a decent wage.

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verity 3 years, 8 months ago

Good one, Bozo. Gave me a chuckle this cold Sunday morning.

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notajayhawk 3 years, 8 months ago

"If you want to see a larger percentage of people paying taxes, get the top 1% of the population that gets 25% of total income to start paying its low-wage employees a decent wage."

If the low-wage employees want a "decent wage", Herr Klowne, perhaps they should earn it instead of having someone giving it to them.

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ajmag 3 years, 8 months ago

How are you supposed to "earn it" if your low paying job cannot help pay for a decent education?

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tomatogrower 3 years, 8 months ago

So, you think that the people who do the grunt work don't do anything to earn their money? At least you are being honest. Anyone who is a flunkie should just get paid peanuts. The filthy rich shouldn't create jobs or pay their slaves?

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notanota 3 years, 8 months ago

Manipulating hedge funds is much harder work than working in a meat packing plant assembly line, don't you know. And if you say otherwise, it's just because you're jealous and looking for a handout.

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scott3460 3 years, 8 months ago

This is a bald face lie. There is not an American citizen who pays "NO" tax

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pittstatebb 3 years, 8 months ago

Rightwinger - I must of missed the part of my government class that states the governor gets to vote on the laws that are passed. See, I always thought it was the house and senate that passed the laws. And in that same time frame guess who has had control of both houses in KS.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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voevoda 3 years, 8 months ago

TomShewmon, Your annual income, after taxes, is more than the majority of Lawrence households take home in a decade. You don't have anything to worry about yourself. You could live out the rest of your life in comfort on what you have earned since Obama became president. It is the massive accumulation of more and more wealth by the top 1% (you, TomShewmon?) that has caused the impoverishment of the middle class. If taxes on the megarich go up, they might not be able to afford a new BMW every year. But raising taxes on the richest Americans will allow tax breaks for the working power and middle class, while maintaining the public services they depend upon, such as public education.
This is a no-brainer. Tax the rich now to provide for emergency needs now, and then reduce their tax rates when the rest of the population has achieved a modicum of prosperity. You don't think that this is the way to make a society prosperous? Look at how well other countries have done--Canada, for instance, which is already emerging from the economic collapse caused by the US. Or Japan. Or Sweden. No, the richest of the rich in those countries don't rival their American counterparts. But most of the citizens enjoy a reasonably comfortable and secure standard of living. You have a philosophical problem with the government being part of the engine that brings prosperity? As Abraham Lincoln said of goverment, "of the people, by the people, and for the people."

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voevoda 3 years, 8 months ago

You shouldn't make inferences, BornAgainAmerican. Wrong about me. Not Marxist. Not Russian. Not green with envy. I just have a lot more compassion for people who are struggling to meet basic needs--housing, food, medical care, education--than for the selfish megarich. That's what Jesus taught, BornAgainAmerican. The free market and private industry caused massive poverty in the US into the 1930s. It was only the threat that American workers would embrace Communism that forced industry and government even to allow unionization and regulation.
The best form of economic and governmental organization is a combination of free market and government regulation and guaranteed social safety net. That has made a lot of other countries prosperous, with the prosperity reaching down through all the ranks of working folk.

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YoungEarth 3 years, 8 months ago

KS Manimal, how did you figure this out? Only God's select know these plans to exalt those who follow the Family's doctrine such as the eminent Gov-elect and the eminent captains of industry, the Koch brothers.

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verity 3 years, 8 months ago

Yeah, it's an open secret. Unfortunately, too many Kansans didn't do their homework before they voted and don't know what the Family and Opus Dei advocates.

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sunny 3 years, 8 months ago

Those stupid terrible rich people! They should all be punished for being rich! They don't deserve to keep the money they have earned....I deserve to have as much of their money as I can get!

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scott3460 3 years, 8 months ago

The rich use more government resources and should, consequently, bear more of the tax burden which pays for those services.

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jafs 3 years, 8 months ago

How is that?

It seems to me there are many resources that are used somewhat equally, and some that are used more by poor and low-income folks, like social services.

Also, it is true that even if the rate is identical, rich people pay more than others - 10% of $1 million is a lot more money than 10% of $30,000.

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YoungEarth 3 years, 8 months ago

Because you wouldn't be rich if it was not God's plan. You deserve to have more than others because you ARE better than others! And don't worry, my Heavenly Father will keep all the roads and bridges in good repair. He'll also provide heavenly police officers (angels) to protect you and your riches from those who might want to redistribute some of your resources.

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Richard Heckler 3 years, 8 months ago

Actually Brownback has no clue about what to do. As my conservative republican father in law from Pennsylvania noted Brownback was no good in Washington D.C. He asks why did Kansas make him Governor?

Cutting taxes is not the answer to strong economics. It's more about how the tax dollars are invested to make Kansas attractive to new investment. Giving wealthy corporations our tax dollars as a bribe to locate in Kansas is not a good idea. That money would be better spent on IMPROVED Medicare Insurance for ALL, education and infrastructure maintenance.

New infrastructure is merely a tax increase because it adds more to our existing tax bills for the long term.

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verity 3 years, 8 months ago

Does anyone know where I can find statistics on what percentage of government welfare (subsidies, tax breaks, etc.) goes to corporations or those in the upper 1-5% of income?

Also interested in what percentage of our military budget goes to private companies like Halliburten and the former Blackwater and what kind of accountability there is on the funds that go to them. I googled it but didn't find anything with that breakdown (I didn't click on all 184,000 hits.)

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jafs 3 years, 8 months ago

I don't have percentages, but I know that something on the order of $10 billion was simply unaccounted for in Iraq.

And, private security firms have managed to be largely unaccountable to anybody.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 3 years, 8 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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pace 3 years, 8 months ago

I am just praying the Koch's can convince Bownback to stand up against working familes and small business to swing the tax breaks to the " job producers" . It would be silly to restrict the breaks to job producing, it would be an insult to Koch, they would not just pocket th cash and not use the money to produce jobs. We can trust them.

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pace 3 years, 8 months ago

I don't see how attaching tax breaks for the wealthiest to job producing actions would be bad for the state's balance sheet. . Cutting taxes, unless it stimulates the economy, isn't magic, what is good for general motors is not good for the usa unless it means jobs in the usa, in this case, in kansas.

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