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Archive for Wednesday, January 11, 2012

In State of State, Brownback outlines plan to cut Kansas personal income tax

Gov. Sam Bronwback said "that the State of our State is strong — and getting stronger," as he gave the State of the State address on Wed., January 11, 2012, in Topeka.

Gov. Sam Bronwback said "that the State of our State is strong — and getting stronger," as he gave the State of the State address on Wed., January 11, 2012, in Topeka.

January 11, 2012, 7:35 p.m. Updated January 11, 2012, 8:40 p.m.

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This word cloud was created using text from Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's 2012 State of the State address. The larger the font, the more often the word was used.

This word cloud was created using text from Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's 2012 State of the State address. The larger the font, the more often the word was used.

This word cloud was created using text from the Democratic response to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's 2012 State of the State address. The larger the font, the more often the word was used in the response.

This word cloud was created using text from the Democratic response to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback's 2012 State of the State address. The larger the font, the more often the word was used in the response.

— Gov. Sam Brownback on Wednesday called for a cut in the state personal income tax and minimal budget increases, saying that will put Kansas in the fast lane on the road to economic growth.

"Let's put our 'lost decade' … in the rear view mirror and speed ahead — at 75 miles per hour — to make this decade the decade of growth and job creation," Brownback, a Republican, said in the State of the State address.

But his plan hit immediate bumps from legislators.

Brownback's proposal would cancel a scheduled decrease in the state sales tax rate, and eliminate many state tax credits and deductions, such as the deduction for charitable contributions and mortgage interest payments, and the earned income tax credit, which helps low-income families.

Senate President Steve Morris, R-Hugoton, said Brownback's tax plan and others that have been proposed for the 2012 legislative session need to be closely reviewed.

"Taxes are very important," Morris said. "We have to be very careful," he added. Morris said he wants to see the recommendations of a special tax committee he formed before reaching any conclusions.

Brownback's tax plan

On the state personal income tax, Brownback's plan would collapse the three current individual income tax rates into two.

Kansas' current tax rates for married couples filing jointly are 3.5 percent on the first $30,000 of income, 6.25 percent on income between $30,000 and $60,000, and 6.45 percent on the portion above $60,000.

Brownback's plan would tax 3 percent of the first $30,000 and 4.9 percent on the portion above that. It would also eliminate individual state income tax on most small businesses. This will affect 191,000 Kansas tax filers.

He said the proposal would provide a $425 tax cut on the median Kansas tax return of a married couple with one child filing jointly and income of $65,430.

But his plan would also make permanent the 6.3 cents per dollar state sales tax, which was scheduled to fall to 5.7 cents per dollar on July 1, 2013. That was a temporary tax increase approved in 2010 to help the state budget weather the Great Recession.

Democrats and some Republicans said they were concerned that Brownback's proposed income tax cut would shift the tax burden to property taxes. "If property taxes rise, that hurts everyone," said state Rep. Tom Sloan, R-Lawrence.

Brownback's tax proposal was the latest addition to the governor's sweeping agenda in his second year in office.

In his State of the State speech, he reviewed his other plans. They include replacing the public pension plan for new hires with a 401 (k) style savings plan; hiring private companies to manage Medicaid; pushing more responsibility for funding schools onto local taxpayers; and repeal of what he called the "use-it-or-lose-it" water law.

Spending caps

Brownback also pushed for a 2 percent cap on spending increases and devoting state revenues raised above that amount to more tax cuts. "This will get us even closer to the pro-growth states with no state income taxes, which are among the country's strongest performers," he said.

But Morris said holding the state budget to a 2 percent increase would be difficult to achieve. Mandated spending for pensions and social service caseloads alone would top 2 percent, he said, and that is before working on budgets for education, public safety and other areas.

Brownback said his budget plan for the next fiscal year would produce an ending balance of $465 million, but some legislators said such a large ending balance is unnecessary when there are many unmet needs in the state.

State Rep. Barbara Ballard, D-Lawrence, said cuts to schools and social services over the past several need to be addressed now before they hurt the state's future. "There is a price to pay for that," Ballard said.

Democratic response

Democrats, who are vastly outnumbered in the Legislature, on Wednesday offered an alternative agenda.

"Kansas Democrats cannot support a tax cut that makes the gap between the rich and the middle class even wider," said House Minority Leader Paul Davis of Lawrence. "We are particularly unwilling to support such a proposal while schools are limping along and other, more regressive taxes are driving Kansans into poverty," Davis said.

Democrats said they want to focus on creating jobs, funding schools and lowering property taxes.

The Democrats' economic proposal includes a group of bills aimed at improving job-training programs, and repairing aging buildings at state universities and city and county infrastructure. The measure calls for expanded gambling, including a casino in southeast Kansas and slot machines at racetracks.

On education, the Democrats have called for spending a portion of current and projected future surpluses to start restoring cuts to public schools.

"We believe that the school funding cuts in recent years have gone way too far," Davis said.

A portion of the greater-than-expected revenue flowing into state coffers — now standing at approximately $350 million — can also be used provide property tax relief, Democrats said.

Comments

Flap Doodle 2 years, 3 months ago

Quotation marks can be your friends, merrill. They would help people know when you are "quoting" something.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 3 months ago

Gov Sam Brownback is not telling Kansas Ciitizens aka leaving out certain details:

His income tax cut/tax cuts = a state wide tax increase = local taxes need to increase in order to make up the loss.

Hundreds of state legislators from all 50 states have gathered in New Orleans for the annual meeting of the American Legislative Exchange Council, known as ALEC.

Critics say the Washington-based organization plays a key role in helping corporations secretly draft model pro-business legislation that has been used by state lawmakers across the country.

Unlike many other organizations, ALEC’s membership includes both state lawmakers and corporate executives who gather behind closed doors to discuss and vote on model legislation.

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 funded with our tax dollars 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. Center for Media and Democracy organization released 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

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 3 months ago

Sambo can cut the rich taxes all he wants as long as he cuts mine too.

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tennesseerader 2 years, 3 months ago

Cutting the state income tax is a FANTASTIC idea. I left Kansas twelve years ago and moved to a state with no personal income tax. This has enabled me to have the capital necessary to start a small business. Socialists do not understand that income taxes discourage work. High income earners get out of states that have income taxes so that they can keep and/or invest more of what they earn.

Even now, I choose to not generate income in Kansas (which would produce jobs) because I don't want to pay the tax. Sam Brownback knows that I am one of many in this category. Lazy or unskilled people love income taxes because they don't pay any.

GOOD JOB SAM. YOU WOULD GET MY VOTE IF I WERE STILL IN KANSAS!

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Stain 2 years, 3 months ago

This is absolutely shameful. This benefits the wealthy and puts it to the rest.

The newspaper is guilty of spinning this too. The headline should be:

Brownback increases sales tax and will force local communities to raise property taxes.

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sciencegeek 2 years, 3 months ago

"eliminate mortgage payment deductions"

Don't we have a housing slump in this country? Is this the time to remove one of the incentives for home ownership? In what world does THAT make sense?

Logic and common sense don't matter to this administration. Reality is whatever they say it is. They will be long gone before the full extent of the damage is known--si ut diesn't matter? And you were worried!!

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blindrabbit 2 years, 3 months ago

Notice the smile on the guy on the left side (Sammy's right) of the photograph accompaning this story; it's just Speaker O'Neal getting reactions to his most recent racist posting.

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Sparko 2 years, 3 months ago

Deficits pay for themselves.

Brownback is a tool. How is that Boeing thing going, Sammy?

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Paul R Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

This is "calling a deer a horse" [zhǐ lù wéi mǎ.] ... We must remember, if we want smaller government, there is only one objective: Spend less money. I propose, to save time and bandwidth, every time Muscular Sam brings up a new idea, we all chant: "zhǐ lù wéi mǎ" Once we all get used to calling a deer a horse, things will go more smoothly. Also remember this is a 'faith-based' argument, not a factual one.

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jafs 2 years, 3 months ago

I love the above comment.

But, why is anybody surprised that Brownback is doing this? It's exactly what conservative Republicans do, and advocate.

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George Lippencott 2 years, 3 months ago

So, let me understand this proposal. 1. We break the tie to the federal income tax system and make our tax filing that much more complicated – the rich use a pro. 2. We reduce the rates and eliminate deductions thereby transferring more of the income tax burden to the middle and lower income folks
3. We continue the temporary sales tax (a regressive tax) to further soak the lower income folk

We do this to make our state more business friendly. So Mr. Brownback believes that capitalism can only work if the wealthy among us are incentivized so they will provide jobs for the rest of us.

I look forward to his effort to transfer more of the costs of K-12 education to the local taxpayer so that component of our tax burden will increase further impacting the middle class. I am confident his numbers on income taxation depend on that transfer.

The Democratic Party alternative in contrast seems measured and responsible. Did we make a really serious mistake?

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Matthew Herbert 2 years, 3 months ago

shifting the tax burden to property taxes......it's been a bad week in Lawrence, Kansas to be a landlord.

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headdoctor 2 years, 3 months ago

What is racist? Last time I checked, angry red redneck isn't a race and none of the liquor choices are race specific. By they way. I am not angry. I am just sick to death of Neo-Liberals and spoiled brat baby boomers throwing a tantrum.

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 3 months ago

Too many people in industry have become politically aligned to either the right wing (owners) and the left wing (labor).

As long as this continues, we will have trouble getting qualified candidates to run for political office.

I don't know why we have so many brainwashed people aligning themselve with extreme views but until we starting moving to the center and learn to cooperate we won't be able to compete in the global economy and we will continue to make dramatic mistakes in foreign policy and in our economy.

The world has changed dramatically in the last 25 years but instead of becoming better at managing change, our leaders have become ideologues and shills for political power brokers.

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 3 months ago

Politicians= Poor management.

Why does Brownback and other right wing so called conservatives want to monkey with the money all the time and make revolutionary changes?

As the economy improves (and it will) these guys are going to take credit for the recovery while skimming off any surplus.

Here is an interesting article that points out some reasons why we can expect a upsurge in the US economy but if we had better management of our resources and our leaders actually interested in our well being, we could do a lot more. The current crop of political extremists are just not very smart people.

http://www.industryweek.com/articles/moving_jobs_offshore_becoming_harder_to_justify_26339.aspx?cid=NLIWD

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headdoctor 2 years, 3 months ago

vertigo, you would be correct if commenting about the upper level right-wingers. The posters here would only need to celebrate their ability to get an economy jug of White Port or Mad Dog 20-20. If they really save they might be into some Jack Daniels. That is what I have never understood. The poorly educated, angry red necks will keep supporting a party that will bend them over the same as any other working class citizen.

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08Champs 2 years, 3 months ago

I'd like to have someone define" small business" as it pertains to the economic discussion. For many with feet on the ground, that's a mom & pop store, a lawncare business, or even a local doctor in family practice. I've heard others indicate it's up to 300 employees?

The reason I ask is that I've seen MANY a tax return in my day for "small businesses." In nearly every one, the tax deductions reduce the filer's tax debt to zero, or incredibly close. Always. Now I know these business owners aren't living on $0 or $1200 a year like the returns indicate. And OF COURSE the deductions they've taken are legal. But why are they allowed to pay little or no income tax when a W2'd employee gets the full burden? Because they employ other people, their reward is no taxes? I've seen the suggestion on this forum that people operate a "cash business" in order to thrive, and it ticks me off every time. Why are some of us left to pay for your education, your children's education, the roads you drive on, the inspection of the meat you put on your table and the Medicare you'll receive? Riddle me that, Batman.

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defenestrator 2 years, 3 months ago

Where are all of the right-wingers this morning?

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William Weissbeck 2 years, 3 months ago

Can you imagine Brownback's tax system as a story problem on a grade school math test? You need $400 million dollars. You used to get $200 million from tax receipts, but decide to reduce it by half. How much more money do you need from other sources to still have $400 million? The GOP always sells you a pig in a poke: reduce taxes on the rich/job creators and by magic the bean will grow into a giant bean stalk. OK, I mixed by fairy tales. An aside: It's clear from his proposal that he wants the state to renege on its pension obligations. He is doing what they are trying to do in Wisc and Mich - you can either have paved roads or pay promised public sector pensions, but you can't do both.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 3 months ago

I don't think Brownback ever had the intention of being Govenor of Kansas for the long term. None of these ideas are workable and I doubt any of them are enacted as Sam laid them out last night. We essentially have a lame duck Govenor 1 year into his term.

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Mike Ford 2 years, 3 months ago

screw the public schools, we all need vouchers to go parochial and become churchlicans... it's part of the indoctrination...

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jayhawklawrence 2 years, 3 months ago

Will state income tax relief for small businesses spur job growth?

The best job creators are small businesses.

I think we have to determine how much of an impact this kind of tax relief will have before we decide to trash the whole plan.

Obviously, the pressures on local property tax and the funding of our education is a serious concern.

Also, Brownback's poor track record, his connections to the Koch brothers and Rick Perry, his past stumbles and his wishy washy explanations do not generate confidence in him as any kind of visionary leader.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 3 months ago

Brownback has it exactly backwards. Keep the income tax brackets as they are, add a bracket for incomes over $100,000, and use the extra income to a) fully fund state programs that have been cut over the last few years and b) eliminate the sales tax on food.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 3 months ago

Here's my suggestion for a tax cut, remove sales taxes from purchases of basic necessities.

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ibroke 2 years, 3 months ago

we all have to pay our fair share

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question4u 2 years, 3 months ago

Well, at least it's the perfect strategy for getting himself voted out of the Governor's mansion. When property taxes skyrocket and that $425 income tax cut doesn't cover the increase, even the slowest intellects will finally get the picture. When Brownback makes permanent the sales tax increase so that he can give himself and other wealthy Kansans an income tax cut three times that of other Kansans, even the blindly partisan will have to open their eyes.

It wasn't very long ago that Kansas had a Democrat as governor. Do extremists think that won't happen again? Have all those who voted for Sebelius for two terms just disappeared? Did they leave the state? Did they die off? Did they become permanent supporters of the Republican party, no matter what Brownback might do to their children's schools, their communities arts organizations, their health benefits, and their personal finances?

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Brownback seems intent on driving anyone with a conscience or a grasp of logic out of the Republican party: driving them "at 75 miles per hour."

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RedOctober 2 years, 3 months ago

GOP terrorism from the master of the craft

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JayhawkFan1985 2 years, 3 months ago

Kansas tried using private companies to run the adoption services during the Bill Graves administration. It was a dismal failure. The same will be true of using private companies to run medicare. Regardless of what some right wing politicians and posters on this blog fantasize, there are times when the government is far more efficient than the private sector. The private sector has far too much redundancy built into it. The republicans would have you believe this is competition. Unfortunately, there really aren't any "free markets." That is a fantasy conconcted by economists. Markets exist only because government builds the plaza upon which the peddlers market their wares. Somebody has to pay for the plaza. Brownback would have everyone believe that the plaza is free. Well it isn't. For example, public schools in Kansas were once the best in the country, but they aren't anymore. Our public education is one of the things that makes this country great. You have to have a well educated citizenry and workforce to be successful. Another example is highways. Kansas is the envy of the rest of the country in this regard still. We won't be once state finances are decimated. Once the highways deteriorate, we'll never return them to the condition they're in now. We'll look like Missouri. God help us all.

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whatupdown 2 years, 3 months ago

Brownback looks like a sheep but smells like a wolf; a Republican out to help the rich, the picture is too clear.

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headdoctor 2 years, 3 months ago

More symbolism over substance. Brownback isn't lowering taxes. Just transferring the load downward and to other taxes/authorities. Wouldn't surprise me to find out with the deductions and such that were listed in his plan to discontinue that there will actually be as much or more tax collected. Mostly from the families making less than a 100 grand per year with the bulk of it coming from the 25 to 50k income range.

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08Champs 2 years, 3 months ago

FREESTATEFAN There aren't words to describe the stupidity of those remarks. Legs closed? Last I checked, something needed to stay in someone's pants to help with that birth control method. If the "man" that "helps" with the pregnancy didn't walk away, I'm guessing there wouldn't be as many moms standing in line for extra cheese. Grow a pair.

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63BC 2 years, 3 months ago

"more regressive taxes are driving Kansans into poverty," Davis said.

Presumably, he means the 6.3% sales tax...which he and the other Democrats imposed.

Now, it's driving Kansans into poverty? A lack of jobs is driving Kansans into poverty. Brownback's plan will create jobs. Let's do it.

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Robert Burnham 2 years, 3 months ago

How about getting rid of personal PROPERTY tax, hell we already paid tax on it when we bought it! AND why would you care what someone else has to pay in tax, I work hard for my money...give me back as much of it as I possible... AND where do all you eggheads get off on bashing the rich....its the people you put in office who can change the tax code....get the right folks in office.... I'm sick and tired of funding employment forever, where is the incentive to work! Social security for all kinds of crap when they didn't put a dime in the system to collect! WIC and all the other programs for stupid women who can't keep their legs closed, and we reward them for that! Naw, these social programs have to go....they cost us working people too much!!!

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 2 years, 3 months ago

If you have more money in your pocket, you then have more control over your cash. You now have more buying power which, in turn, generates more sales taxes, jobs to create the goods and/or services you can now afford much easier, and overall is a much better system.

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Stain 2 years, 3 months ago

Brownback must have failed math. The money has to come from somewhere. Will it be property tax, and regressive sales tax?

There isn't any free lunch, Brownback. It costs money to run a state.

How about the super-wealthy paying a little more, like they used to when the country was prospering? We are still waiting for that trickle down thing to start working.

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JackMcKee 2 years, 3 months ago

It's not going to happen unless Brownbacks school finance proposal finds support. That's looking more and more unlikely.

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Fatty_McButterpants 2 years, 3 months ago

So, basically, rich people get three times the tax cut as do poor people. Brownback is such a jackass!

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peartree 2 years, 3 months ago

Has there been a schedule of specific proposed changes to tax rates released yet? Will the LJWorld post a link if it exists? Thanks!

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jcoozy1978 2 years, 3 months ago

I'm ready to vote for a new governor!

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deec 2 years, 3 months ago

Getting the popcorn...and beer.

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