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Archive for Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Statehouse Live: Democratic chair Wagnon blasts Brownback’s tax plan

January 17, 2012

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— Kansas Democratic Party Chairwoman Joan Wagnon, who also served as the state's chief tax official for eight years, said on Tuesday that the proposed tax overhaul by Gov. Sam Brownback, a Republican, would hurt working families and benefit the wealthy.

"The governor has said he's not picking winners and losers, but he is. He's choosing banks and wealthy corporations over people," Wagnon said. "This isn't even remotely fair, and it drains funding from education," she said.

Brownback has proposed decreasing state income tax rates, eliminating the state income tax for thousands of businesses, doing away with numerous tax credits and deductions, and keeping the state sales tax at 6.3 cents per dollar, when under current law it is supposed to drop to 5.7 cents per dollar in 2013.

Brownback has said his proposal will lure businesses to Kansas and spur economic development. He said his intent is to eventually phase out the state income tax.

"I firmly believe these reforms will set the stage for strong economic growth in Kansas – and will put more money into the pockets of Kansas families and businesses. Growth that will allow us to further reduce tax rates and increase our competitiveness. Growth that will see people move to Kansas instead of leaving our state," Brownback said in his State of the State speech last week.

But Democrats have hammered the plan, saying it will hurt low-income and middle-income Kansans.

Under Brownback's plan, individual Kansans will lose $180 million in tax credits, while banks and wealthy corporations would retain nearly all of their credits, said Wagnon, who served as secretary of the Kansas Department of Revenue from 2003 until 2011.

Brownback's plan would get rid of the home mortgage interest deduction, the charitable contribution deduction, child care and dependent care deductions, the Earned Income Tax Credit, the tax credit for families who adopt children, and the sales tax on food rebate program.

Removing the rebate on sales taxes paid on food will take money from more than 365,000 Kansans, while ending the state portion of the EITC would hurt more than 227,000 working Kansans, Wagnon said.

Comments

progressive_thinker 2 years, 9 months ago

"I firmly believe these reforms will set the stage for strong economic growth in Kansas – and will put more money into the pockets of Kansas families and businesses."

Lesson for Brownback: Remember Boeing? Remember the generous tax breaks given to Boeing? Remember the taxpayer funded corporate welfare for a training program in 2007 of 2.17 million? Remember how lawmakers from Kansas advocated for the award of a huge military contract to Boeing?

And how did Boeing repay the taxpayers?

Do you think that other companies will not jump ship if it suits them, despite what incentives are offered?

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progressive_thinker 2 years, 9 months ago

We could start by putting an end to rewards to companies that send jobs overseas. An effort toward this was put forward in congress, but blocked by Senate Republicans. http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/bdquery/z?d111:s.03816:

The choice for locations for a company goes much further than the tax environment. Other factors include high quality schools, access to international transportation hubs, a well educated workforce, a high quality of living [including access to the arts], access to university research partners, and other factors.

Just cutting corporate tax rates or giving corporate incentives does not answer the problem. Some of the most profitable companies in the United States are located in the worst tax environments, including New York and New Jersey.

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 9 months ago

"so what would you offer to keep the corporations in kansas progressive thinker??? you must have the answer"

An educated workforce, quality schools and public services, and a high quality of life including the arts.

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pavlovs_dog 2 years, 9 months ago

Just a pre-text for Gov. #heblowsalotta jobs to do his Master's bidding.

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verity 2 years, 9 months ago

Doesn't Brownback support transferring responsibility for many social programs from the state to "faith-based" entities? Isn't taking away the charitable contribution deduction going to make it even harder for them to raise money?

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WilburM 2 years, 9 months ago

+1 Nice connecting the dots!

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Bob Forer 2 years, 9 months ago

Shusssh. Brownback doesn't need logic. He has god whispering proposals into his ear.

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chootspa 2 years, 9 months ago

Don't worry. He'll propose spending our remaining state revenue directly on those charities he deems to be worthy (campaign donor) causes.

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yourworstnightmare 2 years, 9 months ago

""The governor has said he's not picking winners and losers, but he is. He's choosing banks and wealthy corporations over people," Wagnon said. "This isn't even remotely fair, and it drains funding from education," she said."

Bingo, Joan.

Newt Gingrich said it best. Right wing social engineering.

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cowboy 2 years, 9 months ago

heblowsalot is the singular descriptive that accurately portrays Brownback., whats next , school vouchers.Wake up Kansas this clown only serves one master and it is not the Lord.

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progressive_thinker 2 years, 9 months ago

Consumers create jobs. When consumers purchase products and services in excess of current production capacities, businesses will hire to make up the deficit in capacity.

On the other hand, if consumer demand shrinks because money flows out of the hand of those who will spend it and into the hand of the already wealthy, the already wealthy become wealthier and growth stalls.

Tax rates on upper incomes are at historically low levels. If the wealthy truly created jobs, we would have zero unemployment.

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ebyrdstarr 2 years, 9 months ago

It seems so simple, even obvious, doesn't it? So why do people have such a hard time understanding it? There is no incentive for anyone to invest in a new business or to expand an existing one if that venture will fail because consumers can't pay for the goods or services offered.

The wealthy in this country already have plenty of capital on hand if they wanted to invest in new ventures, but they have no incentive to do so. Cutting their taxes won't help that. Especially not if most other people find themselves with even less disposable income than they have now.

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verity 2 years, 9 months ago

"So why do people have such a hard time understanding it?"

Perhaps that is a rhetorical question, but I'll answer it anyway. Because, for some reason, they don't want to. Perhaps because they want to believe that all poor people are poor because they're lazy, won't get a job, etc---you know the routine. They don't want to admit that we are not completely in control of everything in our lives---and there but for dumb, blind luck (or the grace of God, whatever you believe in) go you and I.

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Joe Hyde 2 years, 9 months ago

"Brownback's plan would get rid of the home mortgage interest deduction, the charitable contribution deduction, child care and dependent care deductions, the Earned Income Tax Credit, the tax credit for families who adopt children, and the sales tax on food rebate program."

Should this tax plan actually get enacted into law by the legislature, political historians may one day cite these mortifications inflicted on middle class Kansans as the watershed event most responsible for transforming the state of Kansas from a Republican Party stronghold into a free-thinking political swing state, if not an outright Democratic Party bastion.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

"Brownback has said his proposal will lure businesses to Kansas and spur economic development. He said his intent is to eventually phase out the state income tax.

"I firmly believe these reforms will set the stage for strong economic growth in Kansas – and will put more money into the pockets of Kansas families and businesses. Growth that will allow us to further reduce tax rates and increase our competitiveness. Growth that will see people move to Kansas instead of leaving our state," Brownback said in his State of the State speech last week."

This man knows not what he is talking about. It's all make believe. RINO's use the same rhetoric year after after year after year.

I want my tax dollars sent directly to me. Sam Brownback is definitely a facist therefore cannot be trusted. DO NOT send my tax dollars to Sam Brownback...his Washington D.C. track record supported wrecked financial institutions and taxpayer bailouts.

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Flap Doodle 2 years, 9 months ago

Bub, I don't think you get a choice as to how the state or the feds spend the tiny amount of money you pay in taxes.

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question4u 2 years, 9 months ago

When it comes to the budget, Sam clearly believes in the separation of church and state. His ability to keep his economic policies so entirely free of influence from the teachings of Christ must have the jaws of atheists everywhere dropping in awe!

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