Archive for Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Opposition increases to Brownback tax plan, KPERS changes

February 7, 2012

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— Pushback increased Tuesday against two major initiatives sought by Gov. Sam Brownback on taxes and public pensions.

Kansans for Quality Communities called Brownback’s plan to phase out the state income tax and limit state spending “radical and troubling.”

The coalition of educators, religious groups, advocates for those with disabilities and others, said Brownback’s plan would shift the tax burden onto the poor and starve services of needed funds.

“We urge more careful attention be given to tax policy,” said Shannon Jones of the Statewide Independent Living Council of Kansas. “We call for fairness and equity for all Kansans,” she said.

Brownback’s tax plan was getting kicked off before the House Taxation Committee after a presentation from Jonathan Williams, director of the tax and fiscal policy task force for the American Legislative Exchange Council.

Like ALEC, Brownback has called for reductions in state income taxes and elimination of taxes for thousands of businesses. His plan would also do away with numerous tax credits and deductions and keep in place the 6.3-percent state sales tax rate that under current law is set to decrease to 5.7 percent in 2013.

Brownback has said the plan will spur economic activity, moving Kansas “ever closer to the pro-growth states with no state income taxes — which are among the country’s strongest economic performers.”

But Mark Desetti, a lobbyist for the Kansas National Education Association and member of Kansans for Quality Communities, said Kansas schools, roads and social services are in good shape because of the state’s balanced tax approach of income, sales and property taxes.

Desetti said states such as Texas and Florida that don’t levy state income taxes have oil and tourism revenue that Kansas doesn’t.

The Rev. Tobias Schlingensiepen, of Clergy Concerned, said Brownback’s tax proposals had “a moral problem” by eliminating provisions aimed at helping the working poor, such the Earned Income Tax Credit.

On another front, a potential major change to the Kansas Public Employees Retirement System is being considered by legislators.

In the face of projected financial problems for KPERS, a study commission has proposed a new “hybrid” system for non-vested employees and new hires that will be funded through a 6 percent employee contribution. Brownback supports the commission recommendations, saying the transition to a defined contribution system is more like most private sector jobs.

But Sen. Laura Kelly, D-Topeka, said the recommendations don’t make sense. She said it will cost the state more to transition to the new plan, won’t address the unfunded liability problem, and leave retirees with reduced benefits.

“There is no way that any one can look at the facts and conclude that it is in anyone’s interest,” Kelly said.

Comments

Getaroom 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes, it's the GOP way and always has been. Fact deniers all the way back to the Blind Faith Flat Earthers'.

Jan Rolls 3 years, 3 months ago

They pay a guy $75,000 to come up with this nonsense. I think sam has a mental problem because everything he comes up with is stupid. He must think he was elected king of kansas. What an idiot.

Michael LoBurgio 3 years, 3 months ago

Kansas Legislator Pensions Inflated More Than Ten Fold

Comparing pensions

A legislator retiring with an annualized pay of $85,820.52, and with 10 years' service, would have an annual KPERS benefit of $15,018.60, for a monthly benefit of $1,251.55, according to KPERS. If the retiring legislator had 20 years' service, the annual benefit would be $30,037.20, and monthly, $2,503.10.

The News asked some KPERS retirees about their pension benefits. Their answers varied widely.

A state employee who was a supervisor for juveniles on probation retired after 34 years with an annual benefit of about $25,000. A municipal wastewater treatment plant superintendent, with 24 years' service, estimated the earned benefit at $2,300 to $2,400 monthly.

A state social services worker in a supervisory role retired in 1995 after 15 years and draws a monthly KPERS benefit of $524. That is equal to the monthly benefit for a county-level commercial appraiser who retired at 65, vested at nine years with KPERS.

http://hutchnews.com/Todaystop/kpers-and-leg-2--2

Alceste 3 years, 3 months ago

Freshmen entering the Legislature are given the option of joining KPERS.

The next decision for the new legislator is to elect how much compensation to include in their KPERS' calculation: only the daily rate, the daily rate plus subsistence; the daily rate, subsistence, and non-session allowance; or any combination of those incomes.

Individual retirement choices and benefits are confidential data but it has been stated the tendency is generally when they choose to be part of KPERS, they put it all in, anything that's possible.

When will the Douglas County legislators each step forward and reveal what they elected to do? Do any of them have the courage to step forward and acknowledge they were being greedy if they elected to sign up for the 372 year????????????????????

Will any of them step forward and admit they made a mistake?????????????????????

Michael LoBurgio 3 years, 3 months ago

American Legislative Exchange Council. The ALEC and the koch brothers were busy at the gov. dinners.

Compact would take Kansas out of federal Medicaid and Medicare programs

The measures – including the one being considered in Kansas, House Bill 2520 – are based on model legislation promoted by the American Legislative Exchange Council, a nonprofit, pro-business organization that includes state legislators – mostly conservative Republicans – and businesses as members.

http://www.khi.org/news/2012/feb/07/compact-would-take-kansas-out-federal-medicaid-and/

deec 3 years, 3 months ago

Except, apparently, taxes on working class people. How's that 27 billion dollar deficit working out for Texas?

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

It may be that the "business friendly" tax rates in Tennessee have led that state to having the 10th highest poverty rate among the states, as well as a high school graduation rate of only 60 percent, the 5th lowest in the nation.

Tennessee also has the 8th highest teen pregnancy rate in the nation, and was rated 42nd out of 50 in quality of life in a Forbes magazine survey.

Enjoy.......

tomatogrower 3 years, 3 months ago

Unemployment in Texas around 8%, Alaska around 7.5%, Tennessee around 9.5% --- Kansas around 6.5%. And Brownback wants us to be more like them. Scary.

Maybe we are all not very productive, tennesseeradar, but more of us have jobs here in Kansas. What are you doing with those Tennessee people without jobs? How many have you hired? Do you pay your employees a living wage? I'm glad you are doing well there. Apparently not everyone is. Are you going to create some jobs for them, or just laugh at them, because they aren't as rich as you?

tomatogrower 3 years, 3 months ago

True. I wonder where our tennessee friend went?

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

Forgot to mention, Tennessee has the second highest crime rate of all the states. But then again, they have a low tax business friendly environment.

tomatogrower 3 years, 3 months ago

Isn't crime a business? They don't want any government interference, like fighting crime.

Scott Tichenor 3 years, 3 months ago

Yea, but just think how much money he's saving the poor Koch Brothers.

tomatogrower 3 years, 3 months ago

Yes, just millions, so we can expect them to create some more jobs or give their workers a raise.

progressive_thinker 3 years, 3 months ago

Not all of the problems of the world. Just a few of them including:

  1. War against the middle class, including policies of regressive taxation and corporate welfare;
  2. Fighting health reform and Wall Street reform;
  3. Fighting to end collective bargaining rights;
  4. Denial of climate change, and attempts to end efforts to save the environment;
  5. Fighting to keep corporate money in elections at all levels;
  6. Fighting Internet neutrality.

Carol Bowen 3 years, 3 months ago

"Like ALEC, Brownback has called for reductions in state income taxes and elimination of taxes for thousands of businesses. His plan would also do away with numerous tax credits and deductions and keep in place the 6.3-percent state sales tax rate that under current law is set to decrease to 5.7 percent in 2013.

Brownback has said the plan will spur economic activity, moving Kansas “ever closer to the pro-growth states with no state income taxes — which are among the country’s strongest economic performers.”"

The governor wants to use state resources to bet on the future finances of the private sector. This is not a secure investment for the state and interferes with free enterprise.

Jeff Kilgore 3 years, 3 months ago

Brownback et al have no concept of balance, which carries over from their stark black/white; up/down world view which then becomes "governance." They fail to see that the balance between taxation and industry builds a better society for all, that, or it seems, they just don't care.

And by the way, Tennessee, it's spelled, "raider."

verity 3 years, 3 months ago

Multiple choice

(1) Fail to see

(2) Just don't care

(3) Know exactly what they're doing---thought they could sucker us

(4) Know exactly what they're doing---think their will is God's will.

(5) All of the above

cummingshawk 3 years, 3 months ago

Voodoo economics, a failed concept still seeking legitimacy.

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

Recall Sam Brownback in the interest of economic sanity and economic growth!

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

TABOR and ALEC have teamed up to dupe Kansas out of as many tax dollars as possible and maybe take down a few local financial institutions in great D.C. Beltway fashion.

In recent months, ALEC has come under increasing scrutiny for its role in drafting bills to: attack workers’ rights roll back environmental regulations privatize education deregulate major industries * passing voter ID laws.

Nonetheless, this year’s annual ALEC meeting boasts the largest attendance in five years, with nearly 2,000 guests in attendance. A look at some 800 model bills approved by companies and lawmakers at recent ALEC meetings.

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/secretive_corporate_legislative_group_alec_holds

http://www.democracynow.org/2011/8/5/new_expos_tracks_alec_private_prison

http://www.truth-out.org/publicopoly-exposed/1310660473

(TABOR) http://www.dollarsandsense.org/archives/2005/0705rebne.html

somedude20 3 years, 3 months ago

A friggin Muppet would be better than Brownback. Heck John Bobbit's missing link would do worlds better. The good thing is that the state of K will let us know how many idiots live here by seeing how many votes Brownback when he comes up for re-election

Richard Heckler 3 years, 3 months ago

There is also another organization known as Club for Growth. I believe each state now has a chapter ..... Kansas Club for Growth.

This is the brainchild of of a former Brownback chief of state so I read. It is another arm of voodoo economics that shrinks OUR wallets.

The Kansas Chamber of Commerce is all about voodoo economics and the 1%.

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