Archive for Friday, July 27, 2012

Democrats say Brownback misleading public over tax cuts

July 27, 2012


— Kansas Democrats on Friday accused Gov. Sam Brownback of misleading the public about what impact his tax cuts will have on public schools, social services and public safety.

"Sam Brownback's income tax cut plan will bankrupt the state while the tax burden will shift to property and sales taxes, hitting hardest those Kansans who can least afford it," said Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka.

Hensley was joined at a news conference by House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, and state Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, who is the ranking Democrat on the Senate tax committee.

Brownback, a Republican, signed into law legislation approved by Republicans that will reduce income tax rates for individuals and eliminate income taxes for the owners of 191,000 businesses.

Brownback says the plan will work "like a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy," producing tens of thousands of jobs and luring tens of thousands of people to Kansas.

Earlier this week, Brownback held a news conference, saying that the state's finances were solid enough to handle the massive tax cuts. And he promised to protect funding for schools, social services and public safety.

But Democrats said Brownback was intentionally misleading the public and trying to calm fears about the tax cuts in the run up to the Aug. 7 Republican Party primary. Brownback is backing a number of conservative Republicans, who support his agenda, against moderate Republican incumbents who have wanted to take a more cautious approach on tax cuts.

The non-partisan Kansas Legislative Research Department, which works for the Legislature, has projected that the tax cuts will cut revenues by more than $4.5 billion over the next five years, producing a budget shortfall of $2.5 billion.

"His income tax cut will force another budget crisis and send the state back into the red for years to come," said Holland.

Davis said the tax cuts will start affecting the budget soon. "I can understand why the governor is engaged in an act of deception regarding his tax plan. It simply doesn't add up. You can never make the math work," he said. "The governor is not telling the truth to the people of Kansas," he said.

Sherriene Jones-Sontag, a spokeswoman for Brownback, said, "The KLRD (Kansas Legislative Research Department) outlook cited by those who support the status quo is simply wrong and they know it."

She added, "This election is about the choice Kansans have regarding the future of our state. Do they want Kansas to continue on a path of higher taxes, increased government spending and more regulations? Or do they want to make our state the place where our children and grandchildren can stay to find a job and raise a family?”

Democrats also bristled over Brownback taking credit for the state budget's $466 million cash reserve. The Democrats said the rebound in the ending balance was produced by Democrats and moderate Republicans who made difficult budget cuts and approved the one-cent increase in the state sales tax, which was done before Brownback took office in 2011.


lawrenceguy40 5 years, 4 months ago

Boo hoo, liberals. Cry me a river! And while your at it, get a job - you'll pay less tax thanks to our Governor.

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 4 months ago

Get a job? Can't get a job if there are no jobs....

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

Have a job, but I am looking to find one in a different state, thanks.

myavaka 5 years, 4 months ago

Really?! Get a job? You do realize that anyone that gets a paycheck will still pay income tax.

sinedie 5 years, 4 months ago

Quote: Sherriene Jones-Sontag, a spokeswoman for Brownback, said, "The KLRD (Kansas Legislative Research Department) outlook cited by those who support the status quo is simply wrong and they know it."

No explanation of why it's "simply wrong." The KLRD is non-partisan research staff and do amazing work for the legislature regardless of party affiliation. I'll trust their budget analysis long before Ms. Jones-Sontag, whose job is to defend the indefensible.

JayhawkFan1985 5 years, 4 months ago

Wrong because they "believe" it's wrong...

myavaka 5 years, 4 months ago

Don't forget the Gov wanted to keep the Sale's Tax that is due to expire, the most regressive type of tax know to our country.

Jayhawk1958 5 years, 4 months ago

I switched to the Republican party so I can vote for the moderates in the primary.

JackMcKee 5 years, 4 months ago

It's going to be an interesting next few years in Kansas.

Grump 5 years, 4 months ago

The coming preplanned budget crisis is going to be Brownback's calculated excuse to abolish major portions off state government.

But in the long run, it's not going to work. As someone said (and I genuinely can't attribute this quote): "Kansans ultimately aren't going to stand for the kinds of cuts in government services that Bownback is going to propose. Kansans may be ideological conservatives, but they are practicing liberals: they want the government programs, they just don't want to pay for them."

Ragingbear 5 years, 4 months ago

Adrenaline is administered when somebody is in cardiac arrest. Giving it while their heart is still beating could cause a heart attack. So either Brownback is claiming that A: The economy in Kansas is dead despite the supposed tax surplus. or B: He wishes to kill it.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

There's nothing too worry about. Brownback will soon get legislation passed suspending the basic rules of addition and subtraction. All is fine.

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

Do they want Kansas to continue on a path of higher taxes, increased government spending and more regulations? Or do they want to make our state the place where our children and grandchildren can stay to find a job and raise a family?”

Ironic, that. I wouldn't mind raising kids in a state with high income taxes and good schools. I absolutely mind raising kids in a state with bad schools, crumbling infrastructure, and no social safety net, even if it has lower taxes.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 4 months ago

And if the Koch Bros. get their way, we'll get rid of the EPA so business doesn't have to be burdened by lawsuits over the people they poison.

Just think how much worse off India would be right now if Dow/Union Carbide had to actually compensate all the people they poisoned, maimed and killed in Bhopal!!!

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

Part of the tax cut was already designed to justify fracking the western half of the state like crazy. I look forward to the earthquakes and flaming tap water.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 4 months ago

By Jim Hightower

Where is the $47 million tax dollars that belong to Kansas taxpayers?

My congratulations to workers in 16 states – from Maine to Georgia, New Jersey to Colorado! Many of you will be thrilled to know that the income taxes deducted from your paychecks each month are going to a very worthy cause: your corporate boss.

Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center, has analyzed state programs meant to create jobs, but instead have created some $700 million a year in corporate welfare. This scam starts with the normal practice of corporations withholding from each employee's monthly check the state income taxes their workers owe.

But rather than remitting this money to pay for state services, these 16 states simply allow the corporations to keep the tax payments for themselves! Adding to the funkiness of taxation-by-corporation, the bosses don't even have to tell workers that the company is siphoning off their state taxes for its own fun and profit.

These heists are rationalized in the name of "job creation," but that's a hoax, too. They're really just bribes the states pay to get corporations to move existing jobs from one state to another, or they're hostage payments to corporations that demand the public's money – or else they'll move their jobs out of state.

Last year, Kansas used workers' withholding taxes to bribe AMC Entertainment with a $47 million payment to move its headquarters from downtown Kansas City, Missouri, to a KC suburb on the Kansas side, just 10 miles away. What a ripoff! Among the 2,700 corporations cashing in on such absurd diversions of state taxes from public need to private greed are Goldman Sachs, GE, Motorola, and Procter & Gamble.

For more information – and for ways you can help stop this despicable giveaway – get the full report, entitled "Paying Taxes to the Boss." It's available at

AMC Entertainment has since been sold to Dalian Wanda Group of China.

When this tax deal was cut AMC and Cordish Co. of Baltimore were partners. As of 5/25/12 this partnership is becoming history.

As with many buyouts/mergers people lose jobs sooner of later due to the expense of purchase. Is all of the above legal as far as the $47 million tax dollar give away is concerned?

Where is the $47 million tax dollars?

Michael LoBurgio 5 years, 4 months ago

Brownbackward hints more state job cuts are coming

We’ll cut government spending in other areas. We’re already looking at some possibilities,” the governor said.

He declined to identify specific cuts, but said the state could save additional money by consolidating what now are duplicative human resources, technological services and other operations metaphorically housed in the back shops of state agencies. Similar consolidations – and a 2011 early buyout offer taken by 1,000 employees – already have reduced state payrolls by the equivalent of more than 2,000 workers since Brownback took office.

Mike Marvin, executive director of the Kansas Organization of State Employees, the state’s largest government employees’ union, said he expects more jobs would be cut.

“I have no idea how many, this is the first we’ve heard of it,” Marvin said. “But when they talk about streamlining, that often means doing more work with fewer employees.”

About 252,700 Kansas workers were on state or local government payrolls at the end of June, the Kansas Department of Labor reported. That’s down more than 10,000 from a month earlier, primarily because school districts cut staff for the summer, and about 2,500 below June, 2011, the report said.

bunnyhawk 5 years, 4 months ago

What about our seniors on fixed incomes who will experience little if any income tax relief with Sam's plan? What will they do when their property taxes shoot through the roof? Kansas citizens who worked hard to pay for their home to provide their financial security during retirement?

We know this is a faith-based budget because reason and facts are not important!

chootspa 5 years, 4 months ago

Don't worry. Kobach's new voter ID program will cut down on the number of seniors able to complain at the voting booth.

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