To the editor:
Last weekend, I heard our legislators talk about the governor’s plans for tax policy and school finance. If you own property or pay property tax as part of your rent, and you do, this is big news. Kansas already has the ninth-highest property tax in the nation. Under Gov. Brownback’s plan, the only way to counter years of cuts in state aid for schools will be to increase local property tax.
As for income tax, if you earn less than $25,000 a year, your tax liability will increase by over 5,000 percent! That should leave over half a million households hopping mad! In addition, he wants to make permanent the temporary sales tax increase, which affects the poor disproportionately.
People earning over $250,000 a year need not be concerned; they will do just fine with a $5,300 tax decrease. Small-business owners also will benefit, and that is a good idea. However, “small businesses,” due to kinks in the law, include such mom-and-pop operations as Koch Industries, a major supporter of Brownback.
Sens. Francisco and Holland and Reps. Davis and Ballard will be working to soften this harsh plan for shifting even more of the financial burden from the wealthy to the less well-off. Even conservative Republicans in the Legislature are expressing concern. We need to let them know we care.