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Archive for Friday, January 13, 2012

Senate panel begins Kansas tax study

January 13, 2012, 11:13 a.m. Updated January 13, 2012, 3:29 p.m.

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— A Kansas commission is seeking more information and public comment on several proposals to change the state tax code.

Much of the discussion Friday focused on details of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback's plan to lower the income tax rate and eliminate several credits, deductions and exemptions.

Brownback has proposed reducing the Kansas income tax rates for individuals and some businesses, with the stated goal of eventually abolishing the tax.

The commission also heard about a similar plan approved last year by the Kansas House, and a proposal to roll back the 2010 temporary increase in the state sales tax.

Two more meetings are scheduled in January before the commission offers a formal recommendation to the Senate Assessment and Taxation Committee on what changes to pursue.

Comments

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

Center for Media and Democracy released 800 model bills, legislation that is straight out of the corporate playbook and drafted by the American Legislative Exchange Council.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 3 months ago

The Koch Brothers, big tobacco, insurance companies, and the drug industry: all behind the shadowy corporate front group known as the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC). On the surface, ALEC is mostly comprised of thousands of state legislators, each paying a nominal fee to attend ALEC retreats and receive model legislation.

In fact, public sector membership dues account for only around one percent of ALEC’s annual revenues. ALEC's pro-corporate, anti-consumer mission is clear.

Few have ever heard of it, but the American Legislative Exchange Council, or ALEC, is the ultimate smoke filled back room.

On the surface, ALEC’s membership is mostly comprised of thousands of state legislators. Each pays a nominal membership fee in order to attend ALEC retreats and receive model legislation. ALEC’s corporate contributors, on the other hand, pay a king’s ransom to gain access to legislators and distribute their corporate-crafted legislation.

So, while the membership appears to be public sector, the bankroll is almost entirely private sector. In fact, public sector membership dues account for only around one percent of ALEC’s annual revenues. ALEC claims to be nonpartisan, but in fact its free-market, pro-business mission is clear.

The result has been a consistent pipeline of special interest legislation being funneled into state capitols. Thanks to ALEC, 826 bills were introduced in the states in 2009 and 115 were enacted into law.

Behind the scenes at ALEC, the nuts and bolts of lobbying and crafting legislation is done by large corporate defense firm Shook, Hardy & Bacon. A law firm with strong ties to the tobacco and pharmaceutical industries, it has long used ALEC’s ability to get a wide swath of state laws enacted to further the interests of its corporate clients.

ALEC’s campaigns and model legislation have run the gamut of issues, but all have either protected or promoted a corporate revenue stream, often at the expense of consumers. For example, ALEC has worked on behalf of:

  • Oil companies to undermine climate change proponents;
  • Pharmaceutical manufacturers, arguing that states should be banned from importing prescription drugs;
  • Telecom firms to block local authorities from offering cheap or free municipally-owned broadband;
  • Insurance companies to prevent state insurance commissioners from requiring insurers to meet strengthened accounting and auditing rules;
  • Big banks, recommending that seniors be forced to give up their homes via reverse mortgages in order to receive Medicaid;
  • The asbestos industry, trying to shut the courthouse door to Americans suffering from mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases; and,
  • Enron to deregulate the utility industries, which eventually caused the U.S. to lose what the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) estimated as $5 trillion in market value.

http://www.justice.org/cps/rde//justice/hs.xsl/15044.htm

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