Archive for Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Gov. Brownback calls on Legislature to make up revenue shortfall from tax cuts

December 5, 2012


— Gov. Sam Brownback urged Kansas lawmakers to take another look at ways to pay for massive income tax cuts signed into law earlier this year because restoring the tax rate to its previous level isn’t an option.

In remarks to hundreds of people at a forum Tuesday in Overland Park, the Republican governor acknowledged that the state is facing a “hard dip” in revenues because of the cuts that will go into effect in January. But The Kansas City Star reported Brownback suggested lawmakers reconsider what he calls “pay fors” to fill the gap.

Those include eliminating many tax deductions and credits, including deductions for interest on home mortgages and for charitable contributions.

“I think we ought to do some of the pay fors that I proposed last year,” Brownback said at a forum Tuesday sponsored by the Lathrop & Gage law firm. “I think the Legislature ought to do those. We will see if they are going to do it.”

His proposals, which also included keeping part of a penny sales tax that is supposed to expire July, never made it out of the Legislature.

In January, the state will reduce individual income tax rates, drop the top tax rate to 4.9 percent from 6.45 percent and increase the standard deductions claimed by married couples and heads-of-household. The state also will exempt the owners of 191,000 partnerships, sole proprietorships and other businesses from taxes.

Legislative researchers have estimated that the cuts will be worth $4.5 billion over the next six years. But the researchers also project that the cuts will create collective budget shortfalls approaching $2.5 billion during the same period.

Brownback’s proposal ran into problems when lawmakers received a cool reception from constituents who didn’t want to give up their home mortgage interest deduction.

He also faced a negative backlash when it was revealed his tax plan as originally proposed would actually have raised taxes on people with incomes under $25,000, while everyone else’s taxes would be lowered.

Within days of his initial proposal, conservative lawmakers in the House created their own plan that would lower taxes without eliminating many tax deductions and credits.

“I thought the plan we put forward was a good, full plan,” Brownback said Tuesday. “We got the tax cuts, which was good, but we didn’t get the pay fors.”

He said education, public safety and medical services for the poor would be protected categories.

Brownback and other advocates for the tax plan believe a short-term dip in tax revenues will eventually be replaced with revenues created by economic growth prompted by the tax cuts.

He said in an interview after the forum that he wants to talk the issue over with legislative leaders to see what can be realistically accomplished.

“What I am not going to do — and what I won’t sign — is putting taxes back on small businesses and raising the income tax rate back up,” Brownback said. “Certainty is a key issue on tax policy.”


headdoctor 5 years ago

Of course I made a mess of things. Now I want everyone else to fix it.

KSManimal 5 years ago

"Those include eliminating many tax deductions and credits, including deductions for interest on home mortgages and for charitable contributions."

Translation: we ELIMINATE income taxes paid by businesses and business owners...and got working folks to support this under the guise of lowering income tax "rates" for those who still pay income tax....

Now, we tinker with what is and is not taxable order that those who still pay income tax will wind up paying MORE even thought their tax "rate" is, technically, lower.

Congratulations, working Kansans! You get to pay your boss' income taxes for them.

Welcome to Brownbackistan.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

I've got an idea. Why don't all workers become independent contractors. Then they could form professional associations. Then let's say WalMart needs people to stock their shelves. They would have to negotiate a contract with every worker. In association meetings, the workers will be taught to demand a certain wage, maybe a living wage. Maybe a living and have some fun wage. Then they won't be paying taxes too. Then the roads start crumbling with disrepair, and the SLT doesn't get finished. Poor WalMart would have to do something to ship their goods across country. Oh dear, what to do?

Bob Forer 5 years ago

I hope you are right. It's all up to the good people of the State of Kanas to see through the smoke and mirrors Brownie has created. Unfortunately, I think its going to take a few years for Brownback's cumulative mistakes to rear up and bite the average Kansan right in the behind, and by then, he will probably be well into his second term. I hope I am wrong.

Sandy Praeger. Where are you? We need your leadership, and pronto.

FlintHawk 5 years ago

I wish I shared your optimism. Seriously. Even if he gets voted out of office, what are we left with?

kernal 5 years ago

The lieutenant governor, who is no better.

cowboy 5 years ago

I think the governor should go have a relationship with himself.

somedude20 5 years ago

"The state also will exempt the owners of 191,000 partnerships, sole proprietorships and other businesses from taxes"

Awesome totally awesome! So what they are saying is that I will be paying local business's taxes? Sweet, now I won't be guilted into "buying local" since I kinda already am buy paying their taxes.

Scott Tichenor 5 years ago

"Legislative researchers have estimated that the cuts will be worth $4.5 billion over the next six years. But the researchers also project that the cuts will create collective budget shortfalls approaching $2.5 billion during the same period."

I believe Republicans have a name for this kind of governing... but only when there's a Democrat in office they're pointing fingers at.

gccs14r 5 years ago

One place the revenue shortfall can be made up is to quit paying the governor and state legislators.

jesse499 5 years ago

Brownback: Now that I cut taxes on my buddies you tell the middle class working people we're short you've got to make up for it. What a surprise!

Alyosha 5 years ago

You expect to have such posts retained? Those kinds of comments hardly sound like adult contributions to a serious topic. I'm glad such posts are removed.

Briseis 5 years ago

Oh. My mistake. I forgot this is a Liberal web site.

Alyosha 5 years ago

If by liberal you mean "owned by a wealthy man who endorsed Sam Brownback and Mitt Romney," then yes, you're right.

Katara 5 years ago

So be all bootstrappy and create your own news website.

It is just as easy as LarryNative's suggestion for everyone who is unhappy with paying income taxes to quit their job & start their own business.

What whiners you faux conservatives are!

Alyosha 5 years ago

A sure sign of sloppy and jejune thinking is the use of sweeping, unsupportable generalizations. Keep it up!

Katara 5 years ago

I didn't say your suggestion is whining. Please work on your reading comprehension.

Alyosha 5 years ago

Brownback and the legislature have clearly abrogated their duties under the Kansas Constitution by failing to provide enough revenue for the core functions of Kansas government: providing for intellectual, educational, vocational and scientific improvement by establishing and maintaining public schools; supporting institutions for the benefit of mentally or physically incapacitated or handicapped persons; and, secondarily, providing for unemployment compensation and contributory old-age benefits.

Everything else Brownback focuses on are not arguably core functions of Kansas state government.

chootspa 5 years ago

Advocating for a change in tax policy while paying the current legal requirement is not hypocritical, and voluntarily paying extra to someone who is spending the money unwisely is foolish. You really should learn some new material.

Alyosha 5 years ago

The fact remains that the Governor's tax policies have put the state at grave financial risk and endanger core government functions. All the name calling in the world on your part won't make that go away.

You can call names as much as you like, but no serious adult citizen will see that as anything befitting serious discussion. Name calling is what children do.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

Sounds like lawrenceguy40 would rather mooch off liberals than pay his fair share.

Alyosha 5 years ago

Provide evidence that "liberals" have "nothing."

I know a number of very successful entrepeneurs who are quite liberal in belief.

Your understanding of the world is marred and distorted by your political ideology and class-based resentments, much as that of all those so-called people who insisted, despite evidence, that Romney would win, and that polls showing him trailing were a "liberal" conspiracy.

If your beliefs don't accord with the true state of affairs, it seems silly not to revise them. But hey, it's your brain.

chootspa 5 years ago

So should I stop driving my hybrid Cadillac and sipping Fair Trade lattes? Maybe stop having so much higher education under my belt? I thought those were really much more appealing than being the toothless dropout who does nothing but cash in on welfare checks and get fabulous gifts and prizes in exchange for laziness. Or maybe I should just be some shade of brown to allow you to better project your hatred and pretend that I'm being overly sensitive if I ever point it out. It's so hard to figure out what activity I should be doing to meet your expectations of the liberal stereotype.

gccs14r 5 years ago

Cutting the State income tax just means the Feds get the money instead of keeping it here in Kansas.

jafs 5 years ago

That's not true, the feds don't increase federal income taxes at the rate at which states cut them.

gccs14r 5 years ago

State taxes paid are part of line 40 on 1040, reducing income subject to Federal tax. So you're right that not every dollar goes to the Feds, but it does increase the amount the Feds get.

jafs 5 years ago

Hmm, I didn't know that - I'll have to check it out.

SnakeFist 5 years ago

Lawrenceguy40: I expect every conservative whiner who thinks the tax rates aren't low enough to stop using public roads, bridges, reservoirs, police and fire services, education, etc. With fewer users, we'll need less maintenance and expansion, so we can cut taxes and reduce funding without reducing goods and services for everyone else. If you don't stop using these goods and services and continue to complain that the tax rates are too high, then you're a HYPOCRITE. But that's the conservative philosophy - they want the government to provide lots of goods and services but they don't want to pay for it.

madameX 5 years ago

I'm not sure exactly how this is related to the article, but I have to say I find it fascinating that two individuals such as yourself and myself can have a so much overlap in musical taste and yet virtually no overlap in political views. I'm not even being smart-alecky, I genuinely find that interesting.

Also, Jello Biafra is pretty doggone liberal. You're aware of that, right?

chootspa 5 years ago

But he once said something mean about Jerry Brown, so, er. something something.

Liberty275 5 years ago

"Also, Jello Biafra is pretty doggone liberal. You're aware of that, right?"

Someone said that same sort of thing about Joe Strummer when I had a Clash avatar. That's funny.

I'm really pretty liberal concerning socially. Most of what people see as ugly in my thoughts concerning fiscal matters really stems from freedom more than greed or wanting others to be poor. I'm really misunderstood.

And really, just because you're a liberal doesn't mean you can't have good taste in music. That is a wicked version of Rawhide, who wouldn't love it?

"I'm not sure exactly how this is related to the article"

Like the governor cracking the whip on the legislature. Tange and I post videos as commentary sometimes.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

"Those include eliminating many tax deductions and credits, including deductions for interest on home mortgages and for charitable contributions."

This is the exact budget plan that the GOP in Washington is pushing, only the didn't give the "specific" deductions. These deductions help the middle class more than the rich. The rich can pay full price for their house. Why is the GOP declaring class warfare? Why do they want to make it harder and harder to have upward mobility? How do they convince the people in Kansas to vote against their own interests?

Liberty275 5 years ago

I'm not sure he's poor enough to even know what my interests are.

Katara 5 years ago

Well, this explains the big call to prayer on Saturday. Brownback has nothing else left.

SnakeFist 5 years ago

I thought cutting taxes was supposed to somehow increase revenue? That's a big part of the conservatives' economic theory: Eliminate taxes on businesses and businesses will move to Kansas in droves, hiring will increase and the lost revenue will be made up in additional income and sales taxes. So where are all the new businesses and jobs?

Maybe it takes more to attract businesses than just low tax rates. Business owners have familes too - their children go to school and their families enjoy the arts, both of which have suffered in order to lower taxes. It will be interesting to watch this conservative experiment in overly simplistic economic theory crash and burn.

Alyosha 5 years ago

Unwarranted and overly broad assertion. I know a number of successful business people who do not send their kids to private schools. Private lessons is a different thing, because even with public schooling there's a robust market for one-on-one instruction.

Seriously: try just once to reflect on your hyperbolic generalizations to make sure they're not so easy to disprove as yours have been.

There's zero that's honorable about continuously making assertions that any rational person can see are unwarranted and unsupportable.

But again: it's your reputation as a thinker and writer that you're undermining, so have at it, if making silly statements somehow brings you pleasure.

jimmyjms 5 years ago

And everybody else can just go to hell. Right?

tomatogrower 5 years ago

We've been waiting for all these jobs since the Bush tax cuts. The crickets got tired of chirping and died.

Alyosha 5 years ago

For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.’

“They also will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?’

“He will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’

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