Archive for Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Republicans rebuff Democratic property tax cut plan

February 21, 2012


The legislative Democratic plan to reduce property taxes was rejected by Republicans in the House on Tuesday.

Rep. Jim Ward, D-Wichita, tried to amend a bill to give local governments $45 million over two years for local property tax relief. Under the proposal, Douglas County would have received $1.7 million to offset property taxes.

“We have a property tax problem in Kansas, and it’s high time we do something about it,” said House Democratic Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence.

But Republicans, who hold a significant majority in the Legislature, argued against the proposal, saying Kansas should reduce the state income tax.

Ward’s amendment failed 41-76.

Republicans on the House Taxation Committee have approved a bill that cuts income tax rates. Republicans say the proposal will attract more businesses and improve the economy.

Democrats have criticized the proposal because it would cap state budget growth at 2 percent per year, borrows $351 million from the state transportation plan and reduces a tax credit aimed at helping the working poor.


Armstrong 6 years, 3 months ago

Rothschild seems to be slipping a bit. John Hanna from the A P posted this one earlier today.

Katara 6 years, 3 months ago

"Republicans on the House Taxation Committee have approved a bill that cuts income tax rates. Republicans say the proposal will attract more businesses and improve the economy." ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ So how are these businesses, who will be stampeding to Kansas due to a lower state income tax, plan on attracting workers when the property taxes are going to be high and make housing for their workers out of reach?

Those businesses would have to pay the higher property taxes themselves and would also have to pay higher wages to get people to work for them here. Seems to me that increasing their overall expenses in exchange for a lower state income tax is probably not a deal that most businesses would like to have.

Gedanken 6 years, 3 months ago

Property taxes wouldn't be an issue because the first things towns and counties use to attract businesses is to offer property tax abatement and the like. As soon as those incentive periods are over, then the company moves to another place. It is bad public policy in which communities compete against each other.

question4u 6 years, 3 months ago

"Republicans on the House Taxation Committee have approved a bill that cuts income tax rates. Republicans say the proposal will attract more businesses and improve the economy."

It's a great plan for attracting businesses that care nothing about the state or their local communities and will leave for greener pastures the moment that a better deal comes up somewhere else. And what will they leave behind, apart from the unemployed? How about deteriorating highways, increased crime, school districts that are either poorly funded or that have excessively high property taxes, inadequate health care, mediocre universities, unending lawsuits against the state, rural communities with no art centers or theaters, mental patients with inadequate care, and Moneybags Brownback and his cronies stuffing their pockets with the proceeds of the "improved economy."

But, of course, there will be all those satisfied Kansans who think that it's worth taking a step backwards in quality of life so that they can exchange their income tax burden for higher property taxes.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

To be fair, it'll be a choice between higher property taxes or lower services.

It's unlikely that we'd have both.

Michael LoBurgio 6 years, 3 months ago

House Democrats fight for local property tax relief

TOPEKA - During debate today on the floor of the House of Representatives, Rep. Jim Ward (D-Wichita), offered an amendment to provide $45 million in immediate property tax relief to Kansas communities.

Initially a part of Democrats’ Kansas First proposal, this was offered as an amendment to House Bill 2548. It would apply $45 million of the state’s $351+ million surplus in the next fiscal year to the Local Ad Valorem Tax Reduction Fund (LAVTRF). In the past, the Legislature has transferred money into this account for the purposes of distribution to each of the state’s 105 counties. Local units of government are then required to use the funding for reductions in the local property tax rate. No such transfer has been made since 2004.

“We have spent the last six and a half weeks talking about income taxes, when what we’re really facing in Kansas is a property tax crisis,” said Ward. “Incomes have remained stagnant or declined over the last decade, while property taxes have skyrocketed. Middle class families and seniors on fixed will benefit much more from a property tax cut than an income tax cut.”

A 2011 study by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation concluded that Kansas ranks 21st in favorability for individual income tax rates, 32nd for sales tax rates, and 41st for property tax rates. Additionally, the nonpartisan Department of Legislative Research has confirmed that property tax rates have increased over 65 percent over the last decade.

“This amendment to lower local property taxes is fair and fiscally responsible, unlike plans that have been presented to eliminate the state income tax, which shift the tax burden to the poor,” said House Democratic Leader Paul Davis (D-Lawrence). “If we are ever going to restore the American Dream, we have got to do all we can to ease the burden on local homeowners.”

The Ward Amendment failed 41-76. All House Democrats voted in favor of the proposal.

Mike Ford 6 years, 3 months ago

keep cutting the highway funds will said genuises pay for the slt.... they won't....

lgrant 6 years, 3 months ago

Just makes me wonder: what good does it do to lower income taxes when we have such a high unemployment number? To say that a lower income tax will bring business to Kansas just doesn't seem to make sense. Besides who would come to Kansas when the roads turn to mush, women are not allowed insurance coverage for care of their own reproductive organs, schools will eventually be funded under a plan that will make them unequal across the state, necessary services are cut to the most needy, and much more to come from our "severely conservative" administration? Oh yeah, and the exercise of the right to vote becomes harder for a large part of the electorate.

Paul R Getto 6 years, 3 months ago

Igrant: Remember, this is faith-based budgeting and tax theory. Relax and enjoy the ride. Trust Muscular Sam and his strange little jesus. Things will be OK.

TokerT 6 years, 3 months ago

So how does lowering property taxes help the poor. I am poor and a most of my friends are poor. I don't own a house, i rent, i have a beat up car I paid less than $1000 for. I don't own property, so lowering the property tax doesn't help me. I wonder how much property Ward owns and how much his "tax burden" will be lessened by his proposal.

jafs 6 years, 3 months ago

Theoretically, you could wind up paying lower rent, or not see your rent increase as much, if the landlord passes the savings down to you.

In practice, of course, that may be rare.

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