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Archive for Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Senate panel OKs most of governor’s tax proposals

February 12, 2013

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— A Kansas Senate committee on Tuesday endorsed most of Republican Gov. Sam Brownback’s plan for further overhauling the state’s tax system, jettisoning one revenue-raising proposal that helps balance the budget while deferring a debate on other potentially unpopular provisions.

The GOP-dominated Assessment and Taxation Committee spent less than 10 minutes discussing a bill containing the governor’s plan, which aims to position the state to eventually eliminate personal income taxes. The committee’s voice vote sends the measure to the full Senate for debate, possibly next week.

The committee endorsed Brownback’s proposals to follow up on aggressive income tax cuts enacted last year by phasing in a second round of reductions in individual income tax rates over four years. The bill also promises rates would continue to drop in the future if the state experiences healthy economic growth.

But Brownback also proposed revenue-raising measures to stabilize the budget over the next few years. The committee backed his proposal to scrap a popular income tax deduction for the interest Kansans pay on their home mortgages and another measure to cancel a decrease in the state sales tax that is scheduled by law for July.

The committee rejected Brownback’s proposal to eliminate a second income tax deduction, for the property taxes that Kansans pay on their homes. Senate Majority Leader Terry Bruce, a conservative Hutchinson Republican who serves on the tax committee, said many GOP senators didn’t want to end two big tax breaks for homeowners at once.

Bruce, other legislators and groups watching the debate over Brownback’s plan acknowledged that work on tax legislation is just beginning. The final version is likely to emerge from negotiations this spring between the House and Senate after each approves its own measure.

“This just kicks the can down the road,” said Luke Bell, a vice president and lobbyist for the Kansas Association of Realtors, which strongly opposed Brownback’s proposals to eliminate the tax breaks for homeowners.

Brownback is pitching his package of proposals as a five-year plan to put the state on a “glide path to zero” when it comes to individual income taxes. Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan, who attended the committee’s meeting, said the governor remains flexible about how to accomplish the goal while stabilizing the budget.

In recent days, Democrats have harshly criticized Brownback’s plan for concentrating on raising new revenues in its first three years and delaying most of the benefits from cuts in individual income tax rates until the fourth and fifth years. The bill endorsed by the committee nets the state $949 million in additional revenues over the three years starting in July, according to the Legislature’s research staff.

Comments

Greg Cooper 1 year, 10 months ago

As has been noted prior to this article, this is not a glide path, but a crash landing in the making.

Sam, you will be "Laffered" out of the state as "your" plan reveals itself for what it is: cowering before the Koch/AFP/ALEC juggernaut, which, by the way, is losing steam everywhere but Texas and Kansas.

Have a good time while you can, Sam, and enjoy the destruction of the Kansas economy as your legacy.

jjt 1 year, 10 months ago

Mrs Thatcher did this in 1988 in the UK and collapsed the property market. Real Estate sales dropped by around 70% within in two months of the legislation being enacted into law. The knock on effect in car sales and restaurants for example was catastrophic. The thing is not about how much money the State might save, it is about how much revenue the State will lose if the reaction and loss of confidence is the same as it was then.
Granted from a man from Mars view it seems a good idea but for goodness sake do some research. The republican team are simply not listening. I am amazed how sensible people continue to bite off their noses to spite their faces but then if you do what you always do you will get what you always get. The attitude is like not buying a fire extinguisher for one's home, coz' it will never happen there. If that was true why do we need Fire Engines?

William Weissbeck 1 year, 10 months ago

A whole 10 minutes of debate! A high school debate match takes longer and contains more substance. I don't understand why state legislators can't understand some simple facts of geography. Kansas is not Florida or Texas, it doesn't border the Gulf, have vast resources, major shipping ports and/or Disney World and related attractions. Kansas is not and is likely never to be a mecca for the rich to come and spend their money on frivolous things like mountain views. Government is a reality and must be paid for. Each state has unique circumstances and in fact some due to location and history have at times an unfair advantage. But for the advent of A/C, Florida and the like would not be all that desirable. Each state has unique taxing needs and structures. There is no one size fits all. You can't have a system in which only those who "allegedly need" government and its services have to pay for it. We can't have a situation where people like the Kochs become the equivalent of Middle Age lords raising their own private security forces (knights) and building their own towns (castles).

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 1 year, 10 months ago

Besides-- for the average Texan or Floridian, the lack of an income tax does absolutely nothing to improve their quality of life. But it's a pretty sweet deal for the plutocrats.

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