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Archive for Friday, April 27, 2012

Brownback urges passage of tax cut plan

April 27, 2012, 3:43 p.m. Updated April 27, 2012, 4:14 p.m.

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— Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday urged the Legislature to approve an estimated $2.9 billion cut in taxes over the next six years.

“We just haven’t grown for 30 years,” said Brownback, a Republican. “This gets us on a path to growth.”

Democrats were critical of the proposal, saying such a tax cut would rob funding for schools, social services and public safety, all of which have been reduced in recent years because of the recession.

And, they said, the way the proposed tax cuts are structured would benefit the wealthy at the expense of the poor.

“In effect, we are taking from the poor and helping the rich through this tax plan,” said House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence.

Sen. Tom Holland of Baldwin City, the ranking Democrat on the Senate tax committee, criticized the plan, saying, “This is a tax plan for Koch Industries.”

Republican leaders in the Senate said any tax-cutting proposal must be considered against the state’s long-term funding needs.

“In my view, we need to look at what the long-term outlook is,” said Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton. “It’s too early to make any prediction on taxes.”

Morris noted the state is committed to increased funding in many areas, such as the public pension system. Those commitments must be balanced against proposed tax cuts, he said.

The complexity of the package, which was produced by the tax conference committee, was daunting to some. Senate Majority Leader Jay Emler, R-McPherson, said he expected it would take a while for legislators to understand what is in the measure. A vote in the Senate on the plan is likely the week after next.

Both Democratic and Republican legislators said the size of the tax plan may be more than the $2.9 billion over six years that the Kansas Department of Revenue had figured. More calculations were expected to be made over the next several days.

The proposal would cut individual income tax rates and phase out income taxes over five years for 191,000 partnerships, sole proprietorships and other businesses. Brownback proposed those measures and has repeatedly emphasized his support of the business tax cut, likening it to a shot of adrenaline to the heart.

“It’s got the key pro-growth features that I think are important,” Brownback said. “Gets the tax off of small business and lowers the overall rates,” he said.

The legislation also would maintain current law by reducing the state’s sales tax to 5.7 percent in July 2013 from 6.3 percent. It would also provide $180 million over four years in state aid to cities and counties to provide property tax relief.

Democrats said it was impossible to determine how much tax revenue the state would lose because of the business tax cut. Supporters of the business tax cut have said it is directed at small businesses, but tax studies have shown many large corporations would benefit by it and many businesses would likely reorganize to take advantage of the proposal.

Democrats also said the package would hit the poor the hardest. It would eliminate the homestead exemption for renters, restrict low-income families to receiving either the Earned Income Tax Credit or food sales tax rebate, but not both, and toss out the child care tax credit.

Under the plan that was agreed to by Republican members of the tax conference committee, taxpayers earning less than $30,000 per year would pay 3 percent in state income tax; while those earning more would pay 4.9 percent. The state’s current top rate is 6.45 percent.

Now that tax revenues are increasing and the state is seeing a budget surplus, Democrats say it is time to increase the pay of state employees, who have not had a raise in several years, restore cuts to schools and reduce waiting lists for services for those with disabilities.

But if the proposed tax cut package were approved, Davis said, “There is no hope for any of those folks that are looking to state government to provide what I think people expect of their state government.”

Supporters of the tax cut, including Brownback, have said it will help Kansans by increasing jobs and boosting the economy. Brownback said he didn’t fear the revenue loss would hurt state government.

“The numbers look doable,” Brownback said. He said that he and the Legislature must “continue to be aggressive in holding our costs down.”

Comments

Gandalf 2 years, 7 months ago

Kansas is 24 billion in debt now. If this passes watch our debt grow!

rockchalk1977 2 years, 7 months ago

You just don't get trickle-down economics do you Colonel Gandalfi?

chootspa 2 years, 7 months ago

We've been trickled on for a while now. This one looks to turn it into a racehorse.

Gareth Skarka 2 years, 7 months ago

I guess 30 years of the constant failure of trickle-down hasn't managed to get through rockchalk1977's skull yet.

We should give it another decade or so, right? Too soon to tell.

Don Whiteley 2 years, 7 months ago

I'm a Republican and I 100% agree with your comment. Trickle-down economics ceased to work the day NAFTA passed and our economy went global. More money flowing into American companies still creates jobs, but not for American workers. It's a boon to South America, Mexico, China, India, Malaysia and the other countries where the senior management of American firms will send this new work. It's also a gigantic bonus check for the pockets of American executives, at the cost to the American taxpayer of the increased interest we will pay on our spiraling local, state and federal government's debts.

jafs 2 years, 7 months ago

If you don't like the president, emigrate.

JayhawksandHerd 2 years, 7 months ago

"Move."

I did. I miss Lawrence. Unfortunately, it's located in Kansas.

deec 2 years, 7 months ago

Nope Kansas hasn't grown. It is the exact same size it was 30 years ago. When do the border wars with Mo., Ok., Ne., and Co. commence?

handley 2 years, 7 months ago

Give to the rich and rob the poor. {Brownback & Koch law} and the middle class will pay.

Orwell 2 years, 7 months ago

And Charlie and David thank you very much for giving it to them.

honestone 2 years, 7 months ago

A great plan. I've got mine and if the rest of you want yours...just get off your lazy behind...it's the American dream. BTW...evolution is just a scam.

wastewatcher 2 years, 7 months ago

sI would urge Liberal Tom Holland to check the results of the Governors election again before he offers Governor Brownback nany advice. As badly as he was rejected by Kansas voters, I would suggest he pay more attention to the citizens of Kansas.

chootspa 2 years, 7 months ago

Like the fact that more people approve of Obama's job in office than Brownback's according to the statewide poll taken last January? Yes, he should really pay attention to the citizens of Kansas.

JayhawksandHerd 2 years, 7 months ago

I wasn't aware that election results superseded one's right to express his or her opinion. I must have missed that part of the Bill of Rights.

chootspa 2 years, 7 months ago

It only counts when Republicans are elected.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 7 months ago

“We just haven’t grown for 30 years,” said Brownback, a Republican. “This gets us on a path to growth.”


Like others, I'm trying to figure out what that even means. Well, it doesn't really mean anything-- it's merely code speak for the dismantling of government, and funding whatever bits of it are left will be put on the shoulders of the middle class once taxes on the wealthy are cut to nothing.

pittstatebb 2 years, 7 months ago

According to the US Department of Commerce's Bureau of Economic Analysis:

1) the GDP (as measured in today's dollars) of Kansas has grown at an average yearly rate of 4.3% betweeen 1997 and 2010 (their data tool does not allow going back beyond 1997)

2) the personal income of Kansas has grown at an average yearly rate of 5.3% between 1980 and 2010 (this tool did allow 30 years of data).

According to the US Census, population in Kansas has grown 8.5% since 1990 (or 0.4% average per year).

It probably would have help if the Governor would have defined "growth". Have we grown in GDP? Yes. Have we grown in personal income? Yes. Have we grown in population? Yes (but not nearly as fast as GDP and personal income). Have we grown the physical size of the state? No. I guess Bozo was right.

Greg Cooper 2 years, 7 months ago

I wonder if you'll ever have anything thoughtful or inteligent to say.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 7 months ago

The GOP is against jobs, new industry, they stomp on women’s rights & are gutting medicare

Once again they are against new industry/jobs, they support fraud, trash the president, stomp on women’s rights and gut Medicare.

It’s the Republican recipe for taking back the Senate, and it should leave a bad taste in the mouth of Americans. Yes the GOP have become Anti American!

Turd Blossom aka Karl Rove is backing this recipe of no jobs,no new industry,stomping on womens rights,trashing the USA president and gutting medicare with a new $1.2 million ad blitz against America in five battleground states.

We must stand together, here and now, to forcefully say, You cannot destroy America!

Richard Heckler 2 years, 7 months ago

Gov Brownback makes national news again! He and he facist thinking and spending!

Worker's taxes siphoned off by their bosses Thursday, April 26, 2012 | Posted by Jim Hightower

My congratulations to workers in 16 states – from Maine to Georgia, New Jersey to Colorado! Many of you will be thrilled to know that the income taxes deducted from your paychecks each month are going to a very worthy cause: your corporate boss.

Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center, has analyzed state programs meant to create jobs, but instead have created some $700 million a year in corporate welfare. This scam starts with the normal practice of corporations withholding from each employee's monthly check the state income taxes their workers owe. But rather than remitting this money to pay for state services, these 16 states simply allow the corporations to keep the tax payments for themselves! Adding to the funkiness of taxation-by-corporation, the bosses don't even have to tell workers that the company is siphoning off their state taxes for its own fun and profit.

These heists are rationalized in the name of "job creation," but that's a hoax, too. They're really just bribes the states pay to get corporations to move existing jobs from one state to another, or they're hostage payments to corporations that demand the public's money – or else they'll move their jobs out of state.

Last year, Kansas used workers' withholding taxes to bribe AMC Entertainment with a $47 million payment to move its headquarters from downtown Kansas City, Missouri, to a KC suburb on the Kansas side, just 10 miles away. What a ripoff! Among the 2,700 corporations cashing in on such absurd diversions of state taxes from public need to private greed are Goldman Sachs, GE, Motorola, and Procter & Gamble.

For more information – and for ways you can help stop this despicable giveaway – get the full report, entitled "Paying Taxes to the Boss." It's available at www.GoodJobsFirst.org.

http://www.jimhightower.com/node/7723

Michael LoBurgio 2 years, 7 months ago

Brownback: Numbers plunge Gov's approval at 34 percent; Obama is at 42

heblowsalot in #Brownbackistan

http://bit.ly/JSJ32n

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