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Archive for Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Letter: Tax revolution?

January 29, 2013

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To the editor:

Kansas Gov. Brownback and conservative Republican legislators are vowing to completely eliminate the state income tax. So, this filing season, can salaried workers quit paying it?

No. The only citizens who’ll get a pass are the 191,000 business owners exempted by these very same conservatives during the 2012 legislative session.

Conservatives rhapsodize about the wonderful life each Kansan will enjoy once liberated from state income tax. Why, then, did they use lawmaking power to selectively deny salaried workers the first taste of that happiness? It was fear: Conservatives fear the collapse of government if they eliminate the income tax for everybody.

Salaried workers, listen up: Your state income tax will never be eliminated. Yes, bills will be introduced creating the illusion of effort, but procedural difficulties will stall passage indefinitely. That won’t trouble conservatives.

The strategic goal is to exempt only wealthier Kansans, and, last session, the conservative majority seized that prize. Now each delay in eliminating income tax for everybody gives conservatives time to launch waves of provocative initiatives meant to draw attention away from their arrogated trophy: a new tax law that makes business owners our privileged lords and shakes down salaried workers for money to sustain government services. Conservatives hold power by extorting wage earners for state operating funds.

This method of governing betrays the American Colonies’ revolt that ended the social caste system and tax abuses imposed by the British monarchy. The 2012 tax law Kansas conservatives imposed is counter-revolutionary both in concept and execution.

Comments

KSManimal 1 year, 7 months ago

I'm no constitutional scholar, but I've pondered whether or not there could be a successful 14th amendment sort of challenge to the practice of taxing workers' income but not bosses' income.

Equal protection, anyone?

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jhawkinsf 1 year, 7 months ago

Be careful what you wish for. Equal protection might include taxing the very rich at an equal percentage as the very poor.

Equal protection, KSManimal?

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ebyrdstarr 1 year, 7 months ago

On most equal protection claims, the government has a very low burden, needing only to establish that there is a rational basis for the classification. A rational basis doesn't have to be all that rational or believable, either. The standards are higher if the claimed unequal treatment affects a suspect class, but to the best of my knowledge, income level has not been labeled a suspect class.

On the rational basis test, any income tax classification will pass muster easily.

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George_Braziller 1 year, 7 months ago

Except Brownback's tax plan doesn't really lower taxes overall. All it does is shift the burden to cities and counties who have to raise theirs to make up for the cuts in state funding.

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08Champs 1 year, 7 months ago

I've said it before - I have a very hard time with the degree of exemptions allowed for businesses. I frequently see tax returns of business owners, where there is negative income reported year after year. So they actually get a $5000 to $8000+ tax return. These same people usually live in nice homes, drive newer vehicles (a write off...hey, I need my car for work too) and take vacations I wish I was on. And I don't buy the argument that they are being rewarded for providing jobs - a lot of these businesses are owner operated - no employees. My W2 job requires the use of other businesses/vendors - so they have jobs because my work requires their skillset. I pay - they don't. Doesn't sound right.

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