Archive for Monday, April 1, 2013

Senate advances cut to Earned Income Tax Credit to help homestead property tax refund program

April 1, 2013


— The Kansas Senate on Monday gave preliminary approval to a bill that cuts $42 million from a tax credit for low-income working families and gives the money to low-income homeowners.

Supporters of House Bill 2060 said it would help homeowners on fixed incomes and those with disabilities.

State Sen. Pat Apple, R-Louisburg, said the measure was "a shot in the arm" in property tax relief.

But opponents said the measure pitted one group of poor people against another.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, D-Topeka, said the bill takes "money from the least among us to give money to the least among us."

The measure was advanced on voice vote, and will be up for a final vote Tuesday. Republicans, who hold a 32-8 majority in the Senate, defeated all attempts by Democrats to amend the bill.

More than 200,000 Kansas families receive the EITC and the average state portion is $389 per household.

The bill would cut that credit nearly in half, reducing the Kansas EITC from 17 percent of the federal credit to 9 percent. That would cut $42 million.

Those revenues would be used to expand the Homestead Property Tax Refund program by raising the income threshold from $32,400 to $34,400, and increasing the maximum refund amount from $700 to $1,200.

Supporters of the bill said that change would provide property tax relief to seniors on fixed incomes, those with disabilities and low-income families.

They also said the Kansas portion of the EITC program would still exist and even at its lower rate would still be higher than most neighboring states.

But Democrats said the homestead program only benefits homeowners, while most families receiving the EITC are renters.

And Democrats said the only reason Republicans were pitting low-income groups against each other was because of what they said were irresponsibly large income tax cuts for the wealthy signed into law last year by Gov. Sam Brownback.

"This is wrong," said state Sen. Tom Holland, D-Baldwin City, "We are taking away money from our working poor to give to our struggling homeowners, and try to pat ourselves on the back like we are doing something."

The package of income tax cuts passed last year also included repeal of several programs aimed at helping poor people, including the food sales tax rebate, property tax refunds for renters, and child care tax credits.


George_Braziller 5 years, 2 months ago

Why didn't the legislature just move the EITC into a program that will assist low-income people with their moving expenses provided that they relocated out of state? Then those pesky poor people will be gone and Kansas would be a step closer to the glorious Brownback pipe-dream nirvana.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 2 months ago

They're pitting one group of low income people against another. Win-win as far as this legislature and governor are concerned.

otto 5 years, 2 months ago

So why are more Democrats renters?

Michael LoBurgio 5 years, 2 months ago

Reducing the EITC is a tax hike on 200k+ working Kansans

What is the EITC?

The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) gets and keeps people in Kansas working. It can only be claimed by people who earn income through work and pay taxes, and the credit is structured to encourage people to work more hours. At the federal level, it was designed to offset payroll, excise and income taxes paid by families with low- and moderate-incomes, leaving them with more to support their children and easing their transition from welfare to work. Because working families who receive the federal credit also pay a substantial share of their income in state and local taxes (sales, excise and property taxes that as a share of income hit lower-income families harder than wealthier ones), Kansas established its own EITC.

Who is impacted by the EITC?

In 2010, 211,262 families in Kansas (or 17.4%) benefited from the federal government’s EITC. Those same families received over $80 million, or $381 per household, through Kansas’s version of the tax credit and spent those dollars on basic needs in local communities in your district.

Kansans who work should be able to support their families and meet their basic needs. But low pay makes it difficult for many families to get by. The Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) helps families who work pay for basic necessities. It encourages and supports work by giving low-earning families a boost in income and offsetting some of the taxes they pay. And it is the nation’s single most effective tool for keeping children out of poverty.

Michael LoBurgio 5 years, 2 months ago

On march 21st 2013

The House Republicans approved a $400 million middle class tax increase.

The week before , Senate Republicans approved $500 million middle class tax hike.

The Governor's latest tax plan includes a $700 million middle class tax hike.

All of these proposals were introduced to pay for tax cuts Governor Brownback pushed through in 2012, which give the top earners in the state an average tax cut of about $20,000 while enabling business owners go income tax free.

None of these plans will generate enough revenue to allow for restored funding of Kansas schools. Please share - your neighbors need to know what is happening in Statehouse.

getting rid of brownback and his right wing tea party christian conservatives legislatures is the real challenge for kansans.

billbodiggens 5 years, 2 months ago

Remember the Secretary of State’s “self deportation” campaign for illegals. I hate to say it, but it seems as though the leadership of the Kansas legislature and the entire administrative branch of the government of the state has now adopted the theory of “self deportation” as their driving force in all things Kansas. Want to seriously reduce any social or medical care spending? Just make is extremely difficult for anyone in need to live in Kansas. Just run them out as soon as possible. Kind of a sorry state of affairs, so to speak.

Catalano 5 years, 2 months ago

Did you read the obit on Kansas?

Kansas 1861-2013 By Jason Probst

TOPEKA - The Great State of Kansas passed away on March 31, 2013, after a long and difficult battle with extremism that became markedly more aggressive in 2010. The struggle left the state so weakened it could no longer fight against the relentless attacks by the fatal disease.

Kansas was born on Jan. 29, 1861.

The state is preceded in death by fair taxation, good highways, strong education, family farms, a good public parks and wildlife system, open government, neighborliness and belief in helping each other out, freely elected public servants, and political moderation.

Kansas is survived by widespread poverty, low-wage jobs, high property taxes, pollution, poorly educated children, outmigration and rural depopulation, foreign land and farm ownership, lobbyist-funded legislators, chronic mistreatment of the disabled, a maniacal hatred of government and children who dream of living anywhere else.

Continued at (mobile link seems to work better):

George_Braziller 5 years, 2 months ago

I read it on Sunday in the Hutch News. It's brilliant. I'll be surprised if he DOESN'T win some sort of journalistic award for it.

George Dugger 5 years, 2 months ago

Methinks Evil Sam be jamming the Hutch news links.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 2 months ago

These Rt Wing Anti Women Libertarian Neocon Fundamentalist Tea Party backed by ALEC Economic Terrorism thinkers are experts at puling money out of the economy but have yet to learn a replacement technique.

Therefore are not the economic giants of our time..... bordering on stupid.

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