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Archive for Monday, October 3, 2011

Revenue secretary eyes Kansas tax changes

October 3, 2011, 3:06 p.m. Updated October 4, 2011, 12:01 a.m.

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— Kansas’ top revenue official said Monday that Gov. Sam Brownback will receive recommendations by the end of the year aimed at modifying the state’s tax code and putting more money in state residents’ pockets.

Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan told The Associated Press that a task force is nearing completion of the proposal that will take a broad approach at reducing taxes.

“We’re looking at tax policy in a very comprehensive way. We’re not just focusing on business or individual incomes,” Jordan said. “I don’t know that we are targeting numbers. We’re targeting what is the best economic growth policy for the state.”

Jordan, a former Republican state senator from Shawnee, declined to say specifically which taxes would be reduced. He said the task force was working on a recommendation that Brownback “could feel comfortable with” advocating to the Republican-controlled Legislature.

Options include removing regulations that inhibit business growth, increasing disposable income for families and increasing the flow of capital into Kansas that will help businesses invest.

The secretary said the Kansas economy remains fragile despite six consecutive months of revenue growth. On Friday, the agency reported that September revenue collections beat expectations by $27 million for the month.

Through the first quarter of the state’s fiscal year the figure is more than $66 million, putting Kansas on track to have an ending budget balance next summer of close to $200 million, when factoring in cuts in state spending.

“We’re looking long-term. We’re looking about 10 years as to where we can go,” Jordan said.

Jordan said the tax plan will come before the 2012 Legislature convenes in January. Legislators are meeting through the fall to discuss their own tax policy changes, including a bill that the House passed in 2011 that would have begun phasing out the state’s income tax.

“We’re not trying to affect anything that would affect local governments’ revenue sources,” Jordan said.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat, said he hopes the changes in tax policy help restore the three-legged balance in Kansas between income, property and sales taxes.

“You don’t ever want any of them to be too out of whack,” Hensley said. “The closest we’ve ever been to parity was the year 2000. Over the past 10 years, property taxes have taken more of the load because of what we’ve done to local units of government.”

He said as the state has eliminated revenue-sharing programs with cities and counties it has forced those governments to either raise their sales tax rates or increase property taxes to fund services, including public school districts.

Kansas currently collects about $225 million annually in corporate taxes, down from more than $400 million in better economic times. Jordan said that whichever tax is modified or reduced it will have to be balanced with the other obligations of the state and in the face of declining federal support for programs.

Kansas is predicted to collect close to $6 billion in the current fiscal year in taxes and fees.

Comments

Barry Watts 3 years, 2 months ago

That's why I am a true believer in the flat tax. You paid less than 5% when others paid almost 50%. Is that everyone paying their "fair share"? Set a percentage and everyone pays that without exceptions.

chootspa 3 years, 2 months ago

Please show me an example of someone paying a 50% state tax rate for Kansas.

chootspa 3 years, 2 months ago

With today's unemployment, he's lucky to have a job at all. Meanwhile, the richest elite are making more than ever - and laying off more than ever, lest anyone want to start with the whole "job creator" nonsense.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 2 months ago

Flat tax is no good.

Nick Jordan is not telling us the truth. Brownback does not represent anyone below wealthy.

Notice his generous offerings to corporate america!

chootspa 3 years, 2 months ago

Why the holdup? I'm sure ALEC sent them the bill in electronic format.

cowboy 3 years, 2 months ago

ooooh the drama from brownstains admin , you know this is gonna suck !

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 2 months ago

Tax reform is all about winners and losers. The Koch Brothers will be the big winners. Kansas and its middle class and working class families will be the big losers. Remember, the Bush era tax cuts included a "broad approach." The fine print put the vast majority of the tax relief into the hands of just a few super-wealthy. The rest of us got crumbs. The bottom line, they are trying to starve goverment as part of their "Great Leap Backward."

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 2 months ago

Tax reform is all about winners and losers. The Koch Brothers will be the big winners. Kansas and its middle class and working class families will be the big losers. Remember, the Bush era tax cuts included a "broad approach." The fine print put the vast majority of the tax relief into the hands of just a few super-wealthy. The rest of us got crumbs. The bottom line, they are trying to starve goverment as part of their "Great Leap Backward."

LogicMan 3 years, 2 months ago

Ain't mastered that "Post comment" button yet, eh? Maybe next time.

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 2 months ago

Actually, I only hit the post button once. Technology is fun sometimes...

JayhawkFan1985 3 years, 2 months ago

Tax reform is all about winners and losers. The Koch Brothers will be the big winners. Kansas and its middle class and working class families will be the big losers. Remember, the Bush era tax cuts included a "broad approach." The fine print put the vast majority of the tax relief into the hands of just a few super-wealthy. The rest of us got crumbs. The bottom line, they are trying to starve goverment as part of their "Great Leap Backward."

mloburgio 3 years, 2 months ago

Kansas Legislator Pensions Inflated More Than Ten Fold A May KansasReporter.org story said that Kansas legislators get credit for working 372 days a year.

Although Kansas legislators work part time and are paid only during the 90 legislative session and days their committees meet outside that window, lawmakers who choose to join the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System (KPERS) pay their contributions into the system as if they worked every single calendar day of the year plus one more week

Legislators are the only classification of Kansas public employee that can draw down benefits based on a annualized salary.

Kansas Legislator example

Salary: $7,979

Inflation #1: Based on 372 day year = $32,982

Inglation #2: Include $123 per diem (also for 372 days) = $45,756

Inflation #3: Include payments for expenses while not in session = $7,083

Total salary for pension calculation: $83,216

Government employees enrolled in KPERS and hired before July 1, 2009, make a 4 percent employee contribution. State employees hired after that date contribute 6 percent.

Legislators’ make the same percentage contribution but it is based on their annualized total pay and expenses of $83,216. The contribution is 42 or 65 percent of their actual $7,979 annual base pay only.

KPERS is currently reported to have an $8.3 billion gap between what’s been promised to the 260,000 active, inactive and retired state workers through 2033 and the projected resources it will have to pay those benefits. A special commission has been created to find ways to close the gap.

The $8.3 billion gap is expected to more than double under new pension reporting rules likely to take effect by 2014. http://kansas.watchdog.org/7604/kansas-legislator-pensions-inflated-more-than-ten-fold/

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