Archive for Tuesday, May 8, 2012

New study says proposed tax cut measure would benefit wealthy

May 8, 2012


— One day before a potential vote on a mammoth tax-cut endorsed by Gov. Sam Brownback, a national tax study group said the proposal would increase taxes on many low- and middle-income Kansans.

The proposal, which may be debated Wednesday by the Senate, "would provide substantial tax cuts for the best off Kansans while actually increasing taxes on many low-income taxpayers because of cuts in low-income credits," according to the analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy.

The Washington, D.C.-based ITEP is a non-profit, non-partisan group that works on state and federal tax policy, focusing on tax fairness.

Brownback, a Republican, has been pushing hard for the tax cuts, saying they will stimulate the economy and help Kansans across all income levels.

The proposal would reduce individual income tax rates and exempt 191,000 businesses from taxes on non-wage income. It would also follow current law by allowing the state sales tax to decrease from 6.3 percent to 5.7 percent next year.

ITEP said the income tax reduction and elimination of the tax on pass-through business income would reduce state revenue by $600 million annually.

The proposed cut, put together by Republicans on a House-Senate tax conference committee, would eliminate many credits and deductions aimed at helping low- and middle-income Kansans. For example, the plan would repeal a tax credit for low-income renters and require low-income filers to claim either the food sales tax rebate or the Earned Income Tax Credit.

The poorest 40 percent would see a tax increase because of the loss of credits, ITEP said. The bottom 20 percent earning less than $20,000 per year, would see a tax increase of $86 on average, according to ITEP. Meanwhile the top one percent will receive an average tax cut of $19,771, the group said.

The report's findings echoed comments by state Rep. Nile Dillmore of Wichita, the ranking Democrat on the House tax committee.

In a speech to the House on Monday during a procedural vote, Dillmore said the proposed tax cut was unfair and intellectually dishonest because it would "create a class of economic elites" of businesses that would not pay taxes to support government services. "We all have a responsibility to support government services," he said.

State Rep. Richard Carlson, R-St. Marys, disagreed, saying the business tax cuts would result in more investment and jobs.


tolawdjk 6 years ago

Bah. Liberal hack organization reports are liberal hack. Brainiac has paid a lot of out of state people a lot of money to agree with what his handlers have told him to say. Who are we to question the wisdom of Brainiac's handlers?

My only wish is that they would have Tweeted these findings and they could have been formally crushed by the IT Arm of Justice.

Mike1949 6 years ago

My home state is going down hill faster than N. Carolina and Georgia. Pretty soon the banks will have so many houses that they can't sell them like in those states. I see already here in Manhattan, houses on every block are up for sell. If it wasn't for the expansion of Ft.Riley this over priced & over taxed city would be a ghost town. I talked to many of the owners selling, and they tell me they are getting out of Kansas as fast as they can because sooner or later, the republicans are going to bankrupt this state to a point of no return. Who is going to suffer? Our kids are going to suffer. Kansas has always been on edge of failing thanks to the republicans in the rural areas, but usually Democratic Governors kept the republicans in check. We don't have that protection anymore, and everyone is loosing so many freedoms that I can see in a few years people are going to ask, "What happened?" Our answer is simple, STUPIDITY!

SeaBee 6 years ago

I thought we knew this 2 months ago.

Glenn Reed 6 years ago

Oh, STOP that. You know it's only bad when Obama does it....

Though I'm always confused when Obama's name gets dropped in a discussion about Kansas state politics. Someone explain that one.

JayhawksandHerd 6 years ago

Good question. I've yet to figure that out myself.

Jayhawk1958 6 years ago

Nothing about Pink Slime Back surprises me anymore. If you can't beat them then join them. THat's what he wants to happen.

gudpoynt 6 years ago

Mr. Dillmore is behind. There is already a class of economic elites. However, the economy is sluggish because they are not elite enough.

You see, after the onset of the financial crisis, the elite economic class in America took a big hit. Many who were once elite, became less so. Only the elitist of the elite remained, and had to pick up all the job creating slack that their once-elite brethren left behind as they plummeted all the way down to the 95th percentile of income earners.

In response, we hoisted more eliteness upon them, as can be seen in the continued growth in income disparity.

But as the economy shows, our efforts thus far have been insufficient. Clearly the additional burden has been too great, even for the heroically elite job creators that remain. They need more eliteness.

About $20K more should do the trick for sure. This will put them over the elite peak, which is the magic number at which they completely ignore their respective markets, and start stimulating the economy by creating jobs in the absence of demand.

The super elite don't care if they over produce their widgets. They just keep producing and store their surpluses in a huge vault, complete with diving board from which they may jump into big pools of their product and swim around, a la Scrooge McDuck.

You think Scrooge McDuck was anything less than super elite?

I rest my case.

JayhawksandHerd 6 years ago

"...the proposal would increase taxes on many low- and middle-income Kansans."


Liberty275 6 years ago

So they are going to reduce my taxes? I must be elite now.

pace 6 years ago

Under Brownback, there will only be changes to revenue sources. The government will just squeeze the working families, while they make lower salaries. Of course some conservatives won't see degraded infrastructure as a loss, they will think it is less government. Bad laws, bad air, bad water, but great tax breaks for the rich. Nuff said.

Fossick 6 years ago

Hard to believe that a tax cut will primarily benefit those who pay the most taxes. What is this world coming to?

Bob_Keeshan 6 years ago

Actually, the people receiving this tax cut pay by far the lowest percentage of their income in taxes among Kansans. They also pay below the national average.

Meanwhile, the story only talks about income levels -- i.e., the lowest 40% in terms of income is actually over half of all Kansans.

Only an idiot would call this a tax cut. This is a tax increase, plain and simple, on the majority of Kansans.

somedude20 6 years ago

Fact is a four letter word to these jagaloons. I would bet that many on here praising ole Sam are in fact deadbeats and this will hit them the most but they don't care. For some, shooting themselves in the foot is a skill they have mastered all too well

Fossick 6 years ago

Do they pay the most taxes in absolute terms? Not percentages, but in actual dollars on their tax check? Yes, they do. One group pays $x in taxes, one group pays $25x in taxes. It's not even arguable: in the two examples given, one group is paying more in taxes than the other group even earns. Therefore it makes sense that a tax cut is going to primarily benefit those who pay taxes.

I'm all for lowering the sales tax, too, but that's also going to benefit those who pay the most in sales taxes. Must make it a horrible idea, no?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

The important point is that even after the wealthy have paid all of their taxes, they're still wealthy. Their taxes could be doubled across the board, and that fact would remain the same.

For the working classes, and anyone with a low income (elderly, disabled, children, etc.,) they're significantly poorer after paying a relatively high percentage of their income on taxes. But even if those taxes are eliminated, they'll still struggle to make ends meet.

But you'd rather look at it through abstract numbers that say little to nothing about what the real effect of regressive taxation is.

Fossick 6 years ago

"Actually, the people receiving this tax cut pay by far the lowest percentage of their income in taxes among Kansans. "

Weird, because when I plug these numbers into my handy dandy tax calculator, I get a different result: 1 person, 1 deduction, earns 20,000: Est taxes, $650, or 3.25% of that income. 1 person, 1 deduction, earns 200,000: Est taxes $12,234 or 6.12% of that income.

Seems to me that 6.12% is higher than 3.25%. And the numbers are even bigger as soon as one start tossing in extra deductions like spouses and kids. In fact, it's not difficult for a person who grosses $20k a year to end up with no taxable income at all.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

" In fact, it's not difficult for a person who grosses $20k a year to end up with no taxable income at all."

But they still have to make ends meet on $20k per year (a struggle even for a single person,) while the wealthy person who pays more than $20K a year in taxes is still wealthy even after those taxes are paid.

Fossick 6 years ago

If I were you, I would have totally pwned my post by pointing out that the lower income classes actually do pay a higher income tax rate, so long as we include payroll taxes as taxes on income, and so long as we are treating dividend and capital gains income preferentially to earned income.

And I would have no way to disagree. It is unfair to preferentially treat long term capital gains - people holding stocks for 366 days rather than 364 does nothing for the economy and really does nothing for companies. It's just another of Newt's bad ideas that has somehow become common sense.

Paul Wilson 6 years ago

Hey Rothschild? Do you even attempt to be unbiased? Anything written by you should automatically be sent to the editorial pages. This is not reporting the news. The biased language you use and the consistency in which you badger those on the right is sickening. You are unprofessional and are the perfect example of an out of control leftie media spewing propaganda. Do you really think that just slipping in one sentence at the end of the article makes this unbiased? Even though those on the left agree with you...I'm sure they are sick of you constantly trying to manipulate people with your agenda. How embarrassing for you and the leftie rag you work for. ...and here is the bottom line truth: are absolutely no different than Fox News or the Huffington Post.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

Translation-- Porks is upset that Rothshild isn't writing shill pieces for the neandertals in the Republican-controlled legislature.

Paul Wilson 6 years ago

Absolutely not. I'm sick of 'news' reporters who bash and never cover the other side. Fox makes me ill. As does any reporter who doesn't cover both sides equally. BTW... I am not a Republican.

ksjayhawk74 6 years ago

The reporter is bashing the good Conservative people of Kansas with facts. Facts have a well known Liberal bias.

Paul Wilson 6 years ago

Rothschild only chooses to write about things that attemp to show the GOP in a bad light. You of all people surely recognize this. There are plenty of studies and groups putting out 'facts' on both sides. All I ask is that he cover both. If you don't see the similarities between Rothschild and Fox news then I guess you are living up to your name:)

pace 6 years ago

Do the math, follow the number, disliking style doesn't change the numbers.

Paul Wilson 6 years ago

I don't have time for sheep that create their own math and numbers and then try to pass them off as fact. Plenty of funny math on both sides. It is not news. It's propaganda.

pace 6 years ago

Well if you don't have interest in doing the math and no longer believe in math, It is a matter of faith for you. I wouldn't buy that kind of thinking from a toddler. Numbers are too hard, I believe. gg

attorney1776 6 years ago

"The Washington, D.C.-based ITEP is a non-profit, non-partisan group that works on state and federal tax policy, focusing on tax fairness."

Mr. Rothschild. You are free to write whatever news articles you choose and I would encourage you to do so. However, when you insert false and mis-leading information into those articles, then you diminish yourself and the journalism profession (which doesn't seem to concern many new entrants into the field these days).

Please state your facts correctly--

"ITEP is generally described as left-leaning in its policy positions and recommendations."

" ITEP’s sister organization, Citizens for Tax Justice, is often referred to as a progressive group."

It's dishonest and biased to write your article and misrepresent who produced this study and what they're politcal leanings and biases are.

If ITEP is left-leaning, simply state that and let the reading public judge. By mis-representing this organization (and thus changing the tone and validity of the article) you essentually are creating propoganda, not news articles.

This is one of the reasons your newspaper and many others are downsizing or going bankrupt. News sells, propoganda doesn't.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

So, are you saying that their analysis is wrong?

attorney1776 6 years ago

If you read what I commented on, it's about truth and integrity in journalism and presenting the correct facts so the public can decide.

I'm not commenting on the validity of ITEPs numbers, but the public should be made aware that based on the organization's political philosophy their opinions and methods might produce a biased study, intentionally or not, that attempts to validate their own biases and beliefs.

These methods are not limited to only ITEP. But that is what this news article is about, and thus my comments in this instance.

jafs 6 years ago

Anything more than "generally described as" to support a bias in the organization?

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

jafs said it well--

"Should he write that the organization is described as left-leaning by conservatives, right leaning by liberals, and neutral by independents, if that's the case? How far should he go with that?"

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

" it's about truth and integrity in journalism"

As you interpret them, right?

jafs 6 years ago

"generally described as" something doesn't mean that's a correct description, especially these days.

And, "often referred to" isn't much better.

Should he write that the organization is described as left-leaning by conservatives, right leaning by liberals, and neutral by independents, if that's the case? How far should he go with that?

And, if you think that unbiased, honest news reporting sells better than propaganda, I think you haven't been paying much attention to our current media climate - Fox News is extremely popular, despite much evidence that they lie and mislead pretty regularly.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

If we were to be really factual about this, and the current state of "conservatism," it would be that any article that deals with actual facts will be derided as having a "liberal bias." And any organization not funded by the Koch brothers is a bunch of pinko gay communists.

Fossick 6 years ago

"is a non-profit, non-partisan group that works on state and federal tax policy, focusing on tax fairness."...

And straight out of Wikipedia, to boot: "is a non-profit, non-partisan think tank that works on state and federal tax policy issues..." They taught us back in grad school that copying three words from a source without attribution would earn you a zero.

I would be fine if Rothschild said "ITEP describes itself as" that, or even if "The authoritative and highly-respected Wikipedia describes ITEP as..." But as it is, meh. I can't believe he could not steal a better verb than "works on."

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

So, you're saying that they aren't "non-profit, nonpartisan." On what do you base this? (surely you can best wikipedia in this dept.)

Fossick 6 years ago

Nope, what I'm saying is what I said. It's hardly journalism to cut and paste Wikipedia. The words do not become any more authoritative because they are printed on this award-winning website sans attribution.

Michael LoBurgio 6 years ago

kansas tax bill would cost $600 million a year

Kansans in the bottom 20 percent of the income distribution, those with incomes less than $20,000, will see their taxes increase by $86, on average.

By contrast, those in the top 1 percent will receive an average state tax cut of $19,771, even as that group already pays a smaller portion of its income on state and local taxes than do lower and middle-income Kansans.

Michael LoBurgio 6 years ago

How Much Will Brownback’s Tax Plan Cost You?

Governor Brownback is missing the point. If he wanted to cut taxes for EVERY Kansan he would be pushing for property tax relief.

But he doesn’t want to cut your taxes. His idea of a tax cut will actually cause your tax bill to go up.

And it comes at the expense of the schools that you and families in your community depend on. It puts even more of our most vulnerable at risk. It means state workers won’t see a decent paycheck any time soon.

Contact your legislator today and tell them to support tax relief for ALL Kansans. Tell them to focus on property tax relief, and to forget about Brownback’s income tax cuts that will cost most Kansans more than they pay today.

nut_case 6 years ago

Would be nice to have some actual numbers instead of just fluff...

OK - so $20K earners pay 0.4% more taxes

The top 1% earners? what is that $1M/yr? $500K/yr?

What about people who don't fall in either of these extremes? ie the 'most of us'?

Fossick 6 years ago

Accoring to ITEP: Bottom 20%: 0.8% increase as % of income, or $86 in new tax per year Next 20%: 0.0% increase as % of income, or $1 Middle 20%: 0.1% decrease, or -$49 Next 20%: 0.3% decrease. or -$254

The top 20% they break into next 15%, 4%, and 1%, noting that the top 1% of tax earners will see a 1.9% decrease in tax burden as a % of income, for an average cut of $19,771.

So in contradiction to the idea that "most" Kansans will pay more in taxes, the truth is that 60% will pay less, another 20% will see no change, and 20% will see an increase averaging $86 a year. Those who pay the most in absolute dollars will see an enormous decrease in those absolute dollars.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

But even under these almost certainly highly cooked numbers, lower incomes will see a tax increase while the wealthiest among us will see a tax decrease.

Do you really think that making taxation even more regressive will improve the economy?

Fossick 6 years ago

Well, if the numbers are "highly cooked," they are cooked by our friends at ITEP (as I copied them directly from the press release that bluekansas was kind enough to link - any transcription errors are mine, obviously) and not by me. So I shan't lie awake with guilt over those.

That said, new numbers relative to undefined old numbers tell us nothing. If "the poor" are losing tax credits (and therefore becoming subject to the same rates as the rest of us) that is a different story than if the poor are becoming subject to increased rates that apply only to them. One is fair, one is unfair - I'll let you decide which is which.

Will it help the economy? I don't know and could not care less. Republicans and Democrats argue over who will help the economy more, by which they mean making more people measurably busier. I am happy when politicians have less money to meddle in the lives of everyday Kansans. Whether we live better or worse is our responsibility, not that of charismatic lunatics who spend their lives seeking political power over us.

Richard Heckler 6 years ago

Brownback is no republican = try radical Libertarian Facist

The violent crime numbers are up in the cities. Let’s take some time to think about this. Over the past 32 years millions upon millions of USA jobs went abroad and crime is up. Bring on the jobs and the crime numbers will drop.

A lot of corporate CEO’s are making substantial millions . Then walking away with a retirement bonus again more millions aka golden parachutes. A lot of of these same corporations are flooding campaign cookie jars with substantial millions more. Now we are talking billions.

Isn’t it a result of hard working Americans that made corporate American industry what it is…can we say wealthy? Why does congress support tax relief on profits made abroad? MORE tax dollar loopholes? Plus tax dollar bailouts due to mismanagement or fraud…why?

Then WE Americans are told by corp America and too many politicians that American labor cost too much money. Considering all of the reckless and corrupt spending how is it that American labor cost too much money? Folks that is nothing but nonsense.

Hard working American workers do not deserve the shaft nor should hard working Americans be expected to hand out tax relief or to bailout big banks and USA mismanaged corporations.

Put millions back to work maintaining OUR federal highway system the way it should. My tax dollars want the feds to manage the entire operation. NOT corp America CEO’s and their golden parachutes. My tax dollars want a federal level highway and bridge maintenance system to prevent maintenance neglect.

Gov Sam Brownback spends to many millions of our tax dollars bribing corporate America!

Fossick 6 years ago

"try radical Libertarian Facist"

Combining Libertarian and Facist(sic) as you do illustrates that you do not know what either one is, Merrill. The Libertarian is dedicated to the primacy of the individual over the state, the fascist is dedicated to the primacy of the state over the individual. The philosophies are wholly incompatible. Words mean things, even used as epithets.

Why don't you just call him a radical Catholic Buddhist or a radical Creationist Atheist? That would make about as much sense.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

You have a point, but überbillionaires claiming to be libertarians could quickly take advantage of a libertarian revolution and use their wealth to quickly transform that into something closely resembling fascism.

verity 6 years ago

Write or call your legislators. I just did---one more time. Make sure that they know that you are watching what is going on. We still are able to vote. Make use of it while you can.

seriouscat 6 years ago

“I like to pay taxes. With them, I buy civilization.”

~Oliver Wendell Holmes

usnsnp 6 years ago

Dont know what will happen if the tax plan goes through, neither does the legislators or any of the so called experts. What I do know is that if it does not work Kansas will be in trouble, I know that the Governor and legislature will find some one to blame the failure on besides themselves. See there is no responsibility taken by these people they will just shrug their shoulders and continue trying to stay on the government gravy train, when was the last time the Governor did not hold a government job.

tbaker 6 years ago

Those who pay the greatest percentage of the taxes should receive a proportionate reduction when it comes time to cut them.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 6 years ago

"when it comes time to cut them."

And when is that?

verity 6 years ago

Brownback & Co already done that. Only the elite get to do that. So the answer is no.

verity 6 years ago

Only if you're a contortionist. And I think self-multilation is illegal. I know you wouldn't do anything illegal.

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