Archive for Friday, November 2, 2012

Mailers on Kansas tax cuts go out ahead of election

Kansas Department of Revenue spends $52,000 on brochures sent to businesses touting Brownback tax cuts three days before the election

November 2, 2012, 4:17 p.m. Updated November 2, 2012, 4:17 p.m.


— Gov. Sam Brownback, a conservative Republican, earlier this year delivered a massive tax cut to business owners, and now his administration is using tax dollars to tell them about it right before the election.

Kansas Democratic Party Chair Joan Wagnon on Friday shows the mailer on tax cuts put out by Gov. Sam Brownback's administration. Democrats say the brochure was an inappropriate use of tax dollars.

Kansas Democratic Party Chair Joan Wagnon on Friday shows the mailer on tax cuts put out by Gov. Sam Brownback's administration. Democrats say the brochure was an inappropriate use of tax dollars.

Democrats, who have made opposition to the Brownback tax cuts the centerpiece of their campaigns, on Friday cried foul.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, described the mass mailing of brochures to 146,000 business owners as a "gross misuse of taxpayer dollars."

He called on Brownback to reimburse the state from his campaign coffers the $52,000 it cost in printing and postage to mail the brochures.

"I think this is a campaign mailer that should be paid for by campaign funds," Davis said.

But Brownback defended the mailers.

In a written statement, Brownback said, “The tax mailer was sent to educate business owners affected by the change in tax policy prior to the next tax year, which starts January 1. The mailing, which answers questions about the new tax law, is a reasonable expense for the Department of Revenue."

Brownback aded, “For income tax cuts to work businesses particularly have to reinvest the money in their companies and employees. How can they do this if they don't know about the changes?"

Joan Wagnon, a former secretary of Revenue and now the chairwoman of the Kansas Democratic Party, disagreed.

She said the mailers tout the Brownback tax cuts at crucial time during the campaign season when the central issue of legislative political campaigns has been the tax cuts.The mailers were sent out Wednesday via First Class mail just six days before the election.

Democrats have argued that Brownback's tax cuts will rob needed revenue from schools and social services while providing the wealthiest Kansans with a tax cut.

The Brownback tax cuts will exempt the owners of partnerships, sole proprietorships and other businesses from income taxes. The package also decreases individual income tax rates for 2013, with the top rate dropping to 4.9 percent from 6.45 percent, and increases the standard deduction.

Jeannine Koranda, a spokeswoman for the Kansas Department of Revenue, said the agency made the decision to send out the brochures because officials realized that many business owners had basic questions about the changes.

One side of the blue and gold brochure says the tax cuts make the state's income tax system "fairer, flatter and simpler." It goes on to say "this bold action" will "provide a jolt of adrenaline to the heart of the Kansas economy," and it includes a quote from a Wall Street Journal editorial praising the changes and a quote from Brownback.

Wagnon said the brochure was much different than previous notices from the Revenue Department about tax changes. She provided a one-page, three paragraph statement issued by the agency announcing the repeal of the food sales tax rebate that was eliminated under Brownback's new tax changes.


chootspa 5 years, 7 months ago

What a coincidence that AFP just sent me a mailing about taxes. I'm sure the governor did not in any way coordinate on that one.

James Nelson 5 years, 7 months ago

If you had questions why the hell didn't you just call them up and ask them? The lie is you acting like you couldn't get answers to your questions unless you got a special mailing a few hours before general elections. It's like Sam telling the rich folk, "Remember here at the last minute right before you vote who got this this huge tax cut for you". Oh, how I hope it is possible that so many recipients of that letter feel ashamed and embarassed of the taxing inequities in Sam's new law that they vote democratic. Of course we could not expect you to do so, greedy Bozo.

kujayhawk7476 5 years, 7 months ago

Brownback is nothing but a right-wing whacko proproganda machine, day after day. Btw, I'm a republican calling out stench in his own party.

parrothead8 5 years, 7 months ago

You've been wondering what your income tax situation will be, and you're thinking that a brochure from the state government will explain it to you? I'm sure the information you've received isn't biased at all.

You'd have been better off taking matters into your own hands and doing a little research.

George_Braziller 5 years, 7 months ago

Did you try checking the Kansas Department of Revenue website?

Louise Ehmke 5 years, 7 months ago

I own a business and they know allllll our emails. This was a huge waste of my tax dollars. If you have a business then you have the internet and can access KDOC.

This is just blatant.

Katara 5 years, 7 months ago

My understanding was that the State is trying to encourage all business owners to do state business (paying sales tax for example) online in order to save money.

08Champs 5 years, 7 months ago

Jonas - I often vote with my dollars. PLEASE tell me what business you own so I can be sure to avoid it like the plague.....

08Champs 5 years, 7 months ago

Cater? I'll have the prime rib, medium rare with a baked potato and side salad. Thanks!

deec 5 years, 7 months ago

Didn't the tax code changes happen in late May? And they only started writing the brochure in mid-September so the info would be available before January 1. If they were so worried about getting the word out, why didn't they get the word out in June, July, or August? They wanted the info to get out as quickly as possible, so they DIDN'T send it out all summer. Weird.

kernal 5 years, 7 months ago

Not weird at all, deec. It's simply a transparently manipulative strategy, albeit a clever one.

Bob_Keeshan 5 years, 7 months ago

Apparently this $52,000 isn't part of the Department of Revenue's 10% budget cut...

How is this surprising? Brownback is a DC guy, and this is what he did for 16 years in DC.

In January, he'll be painting Cedar Crest and renaming it the White House. He's already moved all his offices from the east side of the capitol to the west wing.

James Nelson 5 years, 7 months ago

I know you spoke in jest but, my God, if what you said would ever come true so help me God I would move to Panama or Peru. I am already trying to talk my wife into moving out of Kansas. Our governor is a certified lunatic as are most far right republicans.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 5 years, 7 months ago

I have never been offered a job, or hired by someone who lives on entitlements. Have you?

chootspa 5 years, 7 months ago

I mowed lawns for a little old lady one summer, so yes, I've been offered a job/hired by someone who lived off of entitlements. Argument fail.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

As a matter of fact, money spent by people living on entitlements (which includes pretty much every retiree in the country) provides the funding for millions of jobs-- and provides the income that your vaunted "job creators" use to operate their businesses.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

Social Security is an insurance program, not a pension plan. And the track record over the last 70 plus years of SS is that it has ended the extreme poverty of retirees that existed for a substantial percentage of the population before its existence.

Sure, the "I got mine, screw you" mentality that you expressed would work out well for a minority of SS recipients, (and Wall Street) but for the great majority, it'd be a very giant leap backwards.

Liberty275 5 years, 7 months ago

There was this girl that was getting welfare and in exchange for a ride to the store, she offered me a... nevermind

tomatogrower 5 years, 7 months ago

My brother used to work for an oil company.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

"Spokeswoman Jeannine Koranda said the department began mailing the brochures Wednesday and spent $52,000 on printing and postage."

Hmm-- that's exactly the same amount that Sam's PAC has spent on electioneering over the last few weeks. Must be matching funds for Sammy's agenda, courtesy of an ever shrinking (and ever poorer) pool of taxpayers.

myopinion 5 years, 7 months ago

If I understand this correctly, the tax cuts go into effect in January and so will not be applied to filing tax returns until 2014 since taxes are filed for the previous year.. The rush makes no sense.

FlintHawk 5 years, 7 months ago

"The rush makes no sense" — unless it is political. In which case, she said innocently, "Why are we taxpayers footing the cost?" No way do I agree with Grumby's out-of-the-gate declaration, "This is legitimate"!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It's a bogus expenditure, given your information about when it'll be used, but like so many questionable expenditures by the Topeka, Inc., all we can do is watch our pockets empty.

kansanbygrace 5 years, 7 months ago

If you owned a business maybe, hmm, bigger than a lawnmower, you would have tax advice from a professional who receives updates every two weeks or so, as the policies change that often. That professional would have, of course, updated you several months ago.
Just observing.... Otherwise, you will lose a LOT of money, that is, if your business is bigger than a lawnmower, or a cardtable and a pitcher of lemonade.

jhawkinsf 5 years, 7 months ago

If Obama can manufacture some androgynous hurricane as his October surprise, just so he can look presidential, then Brownback can .... No, that argument won't work.

How about this, Democrats did it first.

Liberty275 5 years, 7 months ago

I'm surprised Obama didn't blame the storm on a movie trailer.

JackMcKee 5 years, 7 months ago

Reminds me of a little trick Cromwell pulled with the library. Crooks on both sides of the aisle.

John Spencer 5 years, 7 months ago

Why didn't they just email them? In this day and age virtually all of these businesses have email. It would not have been terribly difficult to script an email from public records and save us 35-50K of the 52K, and sent out the paper versions to the few businesses that do not have email.

John Spencer 5 years, 7 months ago

Mr. Grumpy, I didn't say they did, and if you had been wearing your reading glasses you might have noticed the last part about sending paper editions to those businesses that do not have email, this infers that the state does not have all the email addresses. Further I said scripting an email to those businesses 'from public records'. I get the sense that you do not know what scripting is, showing me technically what millennia you mind is actually living in.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 7 months ago

Another non-reply to a perfectly rational response.

Jonas, you take the cake.

cowboy 5 years, 7 months ago

I'll be curious to see if I get one , might have the wrong voter registration category though !

He could of just posted it on twitter #heblowsalot

oldexbeat 5 years, 7 months ago

honesty and brownback -- not words that go together ever.

jafs 5 years, 7 months ago

This is clearly not just an "educational" mailing.

It's a promotional ad for Brownback and the cuts.

jafs 5 years, 7 months ago

That would be "two", I imagine, that you want to say.

Regardless, given the article, this is not just educational, it's a promotional piece, praising the cuts, etc.

Surely you can see the difference?

An educational piece gives information, not praise.

jafs 5 years, 7 months ago

No, they're not.

That's why I said this isn't "just" an educational mailing, in my first post.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 7 months ago

Reading comprehension issue for you, too, Jonas?

jafs 5 years, 7 months ago

If you call me names one more time, I'll ask you to stop responding to my posts.

Read the whole post, not just a fragment of it, if you want to understand it correctly.

Sharon Nottingham 5 years, 7 months ago

we are being fed a line of crap. Why not wait until next wed. to mail it? it only takes one to two days to receive mail within the state...plenty of time to view before holidays.

George_Braziller 5 years, 7 months ago

Not if you mail it from the downtown post office in Lawrence. First class priority mail takes about a week to be delivered. Sent a letter to Hutchinson and it took ten days, one to Inman took a week, one dropped off AT the post office five months ago to be delivered to a P.O. box in the same building is still missing in action.

Scott Tichenor 5 years, 7 months ago

Ah yes, business tax cuts so the job providers--that'd include me--can hire MORE unemployed Kansans. No, sorry, I'm pocketing the money or spending it. That entire Republican line is simply b.s.

chootspa 5 years, 7 months ago

I, like many other true small business owners, never actually employed anyone but myself. That status is unlikely to change.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 7 months ago

Yeah. Another case of Jonas parroting the Brownback "the minority be damned" ideology. Great argument, Jonas.

chootspa 5 years, 7 months ago

Actually, the opposite is true. The majority of small businesses are not employers. Just 20 million of the 34.7 million filers reporting pass-through income qualified as a small business when the Treasury dept analyzed it. Of those, sightly more than one-fifth qualified as an employer.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 7 months ago

This sentence is as incomplete and muddled as the thinking you exhibit in most of your posts.

Yes, I'm being a grammar policeperson, simply because you like to do so.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 7 months ago

Then why did not that money go for what you mentioned? Because furthering his agenda is more important than the people, that's why.

Jonmas, do you think before you blabber?

tomatogrower 5 years, 7 months ago

It would pay a new teacher's salary plus benefits. How much do you think teachers make anyway?

Getaroom 5 years, 7 months ago

The Great Lord Brownbackward giveth and he taketh away, it is the Lords Will to create Heaven on Earth. The truth is he is simply doing what he has always done and why should we expect any different now? Lord Brownbackward is taking his ques from Lord Willard the Mitt. It's all a feel good handout designed to distract. But I am sure the state "job creators" will be happy to take it, just like Lord Willard the Mitt was happy to take car industry bailout money. But it's all perfectly legal you know, never mind moral or ethical conflicts and besides it's the Free Market W/O restraints, just the way they like it! Vote Obama 2012!

bd 5 years, 7 months ago

As a small business owner I was glad to recieve the informative mailer! I was not aware of these changes and I will be contacting my tax accountant to see how it will effect my business. I am thankful that they were sent out.

Greg Cooper 5 years, 7 months ago

Like this: bd said it was not aware of the changes, but felt informed enough to comment on the issue derogatorilly. This makes her current comment either a lie or a grossly uninformed jab at something about which it knows nothing. Kinda like most tea party/reactionary comments.

08Champs 5 years, 7 months ago

Why is it right that Brownback is giving you tax cuts, and in some cases ELIMINATING taxes paid by small businesses, while us W2 workers get nothing of the sort? You get to make your tax return look like you are below the poverty level (and thus pay no income tax) while some of us have to be honest and pay our share - AND yours. I can't believe anyone thinks this is OK.

Armored_One 5 years, 7 months ago

Ya know, I am noticing a distinct increase of people claiming to own businesses, but a distinct lack of people naming those businesses. Does running an internet porn site count as a business in this day and age?

chootspa 5 years, 7 months ago

I have a distinct lack of desire to have my business income jeopardized by trolls.

lucky_guy 5 years, 7 months ago

so bd is a troll. bd's small business must be to troll online columns and say stupid stuff to make the R's feel better. I wonder if that qualifies as an LLC?

kansanbygrace 5 years, 7 months ago

Absolutely perfectly selected and presented. Vertigo you are sharp today. Thanks.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 7 months ago

Vertigo gets the award today for asking the right question.... those are entitlements which do not pay back and they rely on all taxpayers to make up the difference.

These conservatives have funny ideas. At the same time they cut taxes AMC Theatre gets $47 million tax dollars to relocate to the Kansas side. Marrs Candy gets $9 million tax dollars. This seems like mismanagement not a fiscally responsible decision.

The other claim is this is "pro growth" "pro business" in spite of the fact supply side economics never brought a lot of new economic growth. This group of thinkers has been sending the best USA paying jobs and industry to other countries since Reagan/Bush.

Romney has been making zillions doing away with USA jobs. Brownback was in the beltway apparently cheering on this endeavor in addition to wandering about the country cheering on Romney for President.

Hey folks coming from republicans the word jobs is a buzzword. Prepare thyselves for another republican financial meltdown.

And we might question what city hall is doing. They are spending like drunken sailors knowing full well Brownback is cutting off the tax dollar supply to communities. Do we want more mismanagement on top of Brownback mismangement?

Bear in mind the only source of additional tax dollars is you and me.

Pastor_Bedtime 5 years, 7 months ago

Coming up next: a four-color brochure explaining how cuts in social services and education benefit the state. It'll be mailed to the homeless and to elementary school students.

Terry Jacobsen 5 years, 7 months ago

I have no comment about this brochure, but I do take exception to a number of comments about all republicans as Liars, Cheaters, and no good people.....

I am a republican. I own my own business. I treat my employees well. I pay for 50% of a good health insurance plan for them. In the past 5 years, I have had employees who had cancer and were unable to work for more than 6 months each, and I paid them their full wage the entire time that they were off. I currently have an employee who is off waiting to have surgery and I am paying their full wages even though they are unable to work. I have loaned my employees thousands of dollars, not charging them any interest and allowing them to take several years to pay back what they have borrowed. I donate my services to mutliple schools and organizations not out of my excess, but out of my desire to help. I'm not perfect, but I am not a cheater, liar or a no good person.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 7 months ago

Sadly, your description of yourself means that these days, you're a RINO, not a true Republican.

Katara 5 years, 7 months ago

It is good to hear that there are still employers out there who care about their employees and appreciate their contributions to your business.

jafs 5 years, 7 months ago

Most business owners have accountants, and it's their job to learn about and inform their clients of changes in tax policy, I would think.

Paul R Getto 5 years, 7 months ago

Good for you and beware of any sentence starting with "All _" .... Generalizations about groups of people are usually wrong. I did turn in Muscular Sam for waste and/or fraud. The Repealer sent me a nice note and said they would be in touch if need be.

Centerville 5 years, 7 months ago

If the tax cuts are such a disaster, what's the political advantage in publicizing them? Surely, cutting taxes, such a 'devastating' move, will only hurt Republicans? The House and Senate Democrats should send out a notice to businesses: "Hey, we voted AGAINST cutting taxes! Vote for us!" Or am I missing something?

jafs 5 years, 7 months ago


People are easily swayed by colorful ads.

And, nobody objects to "publicizing" them, they object to tax dollars being spent on political ads for one side.

Publicizing them without the spin and bias would include the probable negative effects as well as possible positive ones.

deec 5 years, 7 months ago

Those negatives should also include the fact, which has been well-researched and documented by nonpartisan sources, that tax cuts don't stimulate job creation. What they are successful at doing is concentrating wealth in the hands of the already-wealthy.

jafs 5 years, 7 months ago

That's interesting, and not that surprising to me.

But, you should notice that the tax cuts they examined were tax cuts for the wealthy.

It's certainly possible that other tax cuts, not targeted to that specific group, might have other effects.

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