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Archive for Monday, May 14, 2012

Statehouse Live: Tax cuts at center of dispute in Legislature

May 14, 2012, 5:11 p.m. Updated May 14, 2012, 5:19 p.m.

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— Unhappy with projections of budget shortfalls caused by the proposed tax cut, Gov. Sam Brownback’s administration is preparing rosier numbers.

During a meeting of the House Republican caucus, Majority Leader Arlen Siegfreid, R-Olathe, said Brownback’s Budget Director Steve Anderson would soon release a “dynamic scoring model” that Siegfreid said will show the positive effect of tax cuts cycling back through the economy.

The financial projections produced by the non-partisan Kansas Legislative Research Department show the tax cuts will start producing a revenue shortfall in July 2014, increasing to an estimated $2.5 billion to $3 billion shortfall in 2018. The current annual state budget is about $6.2 billion in tax funds.

Moderate Republicans and Democrats have said a tax cut of that size will mean Brownback and the Legislature will have to make drastic cuts to schools, social services and public safety.

The tax-cutting plan headed to Brownback’s desk would cut individual income tax rates and exempts 191,000 partnerships, sole proprietorships and other businesses from income taxes.

An alternative plan approved by a House-Senate conference committee was less aggressive, phasing in some of the tax cuts over a longer period of time.

Brownback has said he prefers the conference committee plan but will sign into law the larger one if the Legislature doesn’t approve an alternative.

On Monday, the Legislature, having already broken the 90-day mark in the session on Friday, lurched in fits and starts with no noticeable progress on tax cuts, the budget or redistricting.

Sen. Les Donovan, R-Wichita, and a leader on the House-Senate tax conference committee announced that the committee would start negotiating again after last week’s legislative blow up over the issue. Then he said the meeting was canceled. Then he said there would be a meeting Tuesday.

“I want to get something out of committee, on the floor (of the Senate), so we can vote,” Donovan said.

While conservatives have embraced larger tax cuts, moderate Republicans and Democrats are pushing for a smaller plan. They are urging Brownback to veto the larger cut.

The Kansas NAACP called on Brownback to veto the measure, saying the legislation would “bankrupt our state.”

The group added, “While the people who feel the adverse cuts of these programs will see their tax burden increase, the wealthiest among us may actually see their fiscal contribution to society lessen. This hardly resembles economic justice.”

Comments

ibroke 1 year, 11 months ago

i hope it passes everyone needs a tax cut!

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

FYI

Worker's taxes siphoned off by their bosses Thursday, April 26, 2012 | by Jim Hightower

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 http://www.GoodJobsFirst.org.

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Brave21Hawk 1 year, 11 months ago

Anyone intelligent knows that budget Director Steve Anderson is going to be able and skew the numbers to make it seem appealing to to some. What we see now is reality, what Steve will try to do is plant a seemingly solid, but flawed theory in front of the public.

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Michael LoBurgio 1 year, 11 months ago

Tax-cut bill puts education at risk

The following commentary was submitted by school superintendents John Allison, Wichita; John Burke, Haysville; Randal Chickadonz, Rose Hill; Mark A. Evans, Andover; Sue Givens, El Dorado; Justin Henry, Goddard; Jim Keller, Circle; Doug Powers, Maize; Brad Rahe, Mulvane; Mike Roth, Clearwater; Scott Springston, Valley Center; and Craig Wilford, Derby:

The Kansas Legislature’s approval of a tax-reduction bill that will plunge the state general fund into the red beginning in 2014 could critically damage public education in Kansas. If Gov. Sam Brownback signs H.B. 2117 into law, local school districts will need to start planning immediately for huge reductions in state aid.

This isn’t just a challenge for local school boards and school faculty. This is a challenge for our entire community.

Public education is the foundation of our local economy. It generates the quality workforce that is essential to our prosperity. Like any other structure, the foundation must be sustained to keep everything else in place. If the foundation is eroded, everything else starts to crumble.

Our options are very limited. If we want to maintain our current level of academic performance, we would have to replace the state dollars with local property taxes. That is an unacceptable alternative that would only mask the state’s failure to meet its constitutional responsibility to public education.

http://www.kansas.com/2012/05/13/2331...

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tbaker 1 year, 11 months ago

Government budget deficits occur as a result of a conscious decision to SPEND more than revenue received. The tax cuts will cause an initial reduction in revenues; but they are not the cause of some future budget deficit. Deficit spending is the cause. It’s intellectually dishonest to omit this simple fact from all the reporting on the governor’s proposed tax cuts, but there is a good reason the liberal media does this. The idea the people who worked for and earned the money in the first place should not have as much taken from them is an alien concept to many on the left. The prospect of the vast majority of the population being prosperous, self-sufficient citizens, able to successfully navigate everyday life without significant government involvement really scares them.

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distant_voice 1 year, 11 months ago

What Siegfreid's statement really means is that they need just a little more time to create the lies and distortions around trickle-down economics to shove this plan for disaster down the throats of Kansans. H., I'm not even a Democrat and I can see the writing on that wall.

Yep, lower taxes means more disposable income, and more disposable income available to Kansans means that they are likely to spend more, that means more money coming into businesses. In turn, to meet that rising demand, American companies will create lots of new jobs... in Mexico, China, India, Malaysia, and 3rd world countries, and the executives of those companies will pocket the rest in big bonuses to themselves. Help to the economic climate in Kansas: zero. Help to 93% of Americans: zero.

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observant 1 year, 11 months ago

“dynamic scoring model” What it means is brownie said, this is what I want it to say, now make it so, Real facts be damned, I know what it had better say.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm in the same boat. When I can afford to retire I'm getting the heck out of here and the coming crushing property and sales taxes. There are far more hospitable places to live. Kansas diving off the deep end has pretty much ruined what few good things there were about the state. It's sad.

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bobberboy 1 year, 11 months ago

Governor - if you want to help the people of Kansas - make this State the first to raise the minimum wage to $12/hour ! Don't just give Christianity mouth service !

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JackMcKee 1 year, 11 months ago

Anyone else ever wonder if the kind of person that would move to Kansas to avoid income taxes is the kind of person you'd want to live next to?

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bobberboy 1 year, 11 months ago

This is all about who's paying the taxes not about how much. Fact - the middle class is becoming smaller - the rich and poor classes are becoming larger. Either increase taxes or increase the minimum wage. Money is meant to be used - not kept in someones account lying idle !! Minimum wage should be around $12/hour. Take that from the CEO's and give it to the workers - so they can spend it to stimulate the economy. With the increase in income amongst the poor and middle class comes and increase in income tax receipts. Simple huh !

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Shelley Bock 1 year, 11 months ago

This all plays into Brownback's plans. Reduce overall amount of revenue,then it will be impossible to fund state services and education as in years past. Since no lawmaker will vote to increase taxes, the State will be stuck at the lower amount. There won't be the debate about reductions, there will be a debate about which crumbs the programs receive.

“I believe that there should be a very much heavier progressive tax on very large incomes, a tax which should increase in a very marked fashion for the gigantic incomes.” ~Theodore Roosevelt (he must have been a socialist)

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chootspa 1 year, 11 months ago

Oooh, a "dynamic model" that factors in the unicorn powder and fairy dust that will magically make revenue appear out of tax cuts. At least I'm assuming they're mixing in the fairy dust this time. Because they've tried trickle down approaches before, and they don't actually work.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 11 months ago

"During a meeting of the House Republican caucus, Majority Leader Arlen Siegfreid, R-Olathe, said Brownback’s Budget Director Steve Anderson would soon release a “dynamic scoring model” that Siegfreid said will show the positive effect of tax cuts cycling back through the economy."

This is not hard evidence? Hard evidence is not available. This is political rhetoric. Can we say BS?

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headdoctor 1 year, 11 months ago

That would be a pretty good insult to the 60's band.

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Keith 1 year, 11 months ago

With this can we rename our state government Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs?

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dabbindan 1 year, 11 months ago

if you're so confident sam, delay your cuts, generate and SAVE the surplus. then make the cuts, pay any deficits with the saved surplus. if you're right, save that surplus for a rainy day.

if you're wrong, pay for deficit with that saved surplus and go back to the old tax rates. (with your tail between your legs) no harm done to kansas citizens.

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JackMcKee 1 year, 11 months ago

"Brownback’s Budget Director Steve Anderson would soon release a “dynamic scoring model” that Siegfreid said will show the positive effect of tax cuts cycling back through the economy."

This can't really be our State government. This has to be satire.

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headdoctor 1 year, 11 months ago

I wonder if the churches will still be that thrilled with Brownback's plan when the donations and tithing grind to a screeching halt after he breaks a large portion of the State's population. Many if the far right christian zealot churches basic expenses are usually supported by hand full of wealthy families and pious widow members. The rest comes from the flock. It wont make those churches go away but it will sure cramp their style in various areas of questionable spending.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 11 months ago

When you have more money in your pocket, working class people tend to pay down debt, purchase or replace things they could not have otherwise afforded, etc. This money thing is taxed again and much of what happens is a wash.

How in the world can the economy rebound when the government decides how to spend your money. But of course, if you did not earn it in the first place, then you would be all for the extra taxes on the producers as moochers will always be moochers.

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tange 1 year, 11 months ago

Get the taillights flashin', raise the hood and wink.

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observant 1 year, 11 months ago

So the numbers don't fit your desires. you order new numbers to fit your ideas. brownie is trying his best to be the absolute worst governor of any state in the countries entire history. And the nutcase christians love him. Further proof that they are the most ignorant people in the entire world.

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Eride 1 year, 11 months ago

The numbers aren't good enough?

Just make new ones!

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bobberboy 1 year, 11 months ago

Don't give up moderates and dems - the future of Kansas is on your shoulders !!!!!!!!!!!!!

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