Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Analysis group believes new tax plan could ruin Kansas

June 5, 2013


— A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that analyzes tax policy warned Wednesday that the tax plan recently approved by the Kansas Legislature could put the state "on a path to ruin."

"Kansas legislators passed a plan this past weekend to drain the state’s reserves, cut taxes for the rich, raise taxes for many lower-income families and slash education in the process," wrote Nicholas Johnson, vice president for state fiscal policy at the Washington-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

"The state is on a path to ruin unless it changes course," Johnson said.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities describes itself as a policy organization that works on federal and state fiscal policies and programs that affect low- and moderate-income families. It is sometimes described as left-leaning.

The bill that Gov. Sam Brownback has said he will sign into law will increase the state sales tax and reduce itemized and standard income tax deductions, while phasing down income tax rates, with the ultimate aim of totally eliminating state income taxes.

The proposal follows last year's cuts in income tax rates and the elimination of income taxes on profits earned by nearly 200,000 business owners. Tax analysts on the right and left have criticized those tax cuts.

But Brownback says the key to economic growth is elimination of the state income tax.

"When you put the entire package together, this is an absolute tax cut of a substantial nature and puts Kansas on the radar screen for a lot of people that are looking for places that are pro-growth," Brownback said.

Senate President Susan Wagle, R-Wichita, said, "It is exciting that we are lowering income taxes. Clearly that is the one tax you can cut to grow jobs. That is not a contested statistic or outcome," she said.

But Johnson said the tax changes shift the burden toward low- and middle-income Kansans and shortchange the budget, which will limit spending on education and social services.

"And for what?," Johnson said. "Despite promises of a boost to the state economy, real-life experience in the states and extensive academic research show that income tax cuts don't generate meaningful economic growth."


Richard Heckler 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Where is the $47 million tax dollars that belong to Kansas taxpayers? Anyone in Topeka have a clue?

Many workers 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. Hmmmmmmmm.

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. Whoaaaaaaaa zero disclosure.

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.

Say adios Amigo don't hurry back.

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. (((AMC Entertainment has since been sold to Dalian Wanda Group of China. )))

Is all of the above legal as far as the $47 million tax dollar give away is concerned?

Where is the $47 million tax dollars? How can $47 million tax $$$$$ go up in smoke?


jafs 10 months, 2 weeks ago

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gatekeeper 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Everyone needs to register as a republican. Then you vote in the republican primaries so we can get moderate republicans through. Mainly the extremists turn out to vote in primaries. If all of us with a level head and more middle of the line vote in the primaries, we can oust these tea party idiots. We're all suffering the consequences of a very small percentage of Kansans voting.

As far as replacing Brownback, I think Praeger is one of the few that could beat Sam. I don't think she'll run though. She's a good lady with a level head and could do some good in this state.


Thomas Bryce 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Ruined? Hopefully not. Messed up seriously? Yes. What ever the outcome, The Kansas GOP Super-majority led Legislature will OWN the outcome Lock, Stock, and Barrel. I hope they are willing to accept the responsibility for THEIR actions. As a voter, I certainly will hold them responsible for their actions in the form of my vote. They can't blame anyone else, although, I am sure they will try. Lets hold them responsible by voting this next election. After all is said and done, the decision is up to the ones that will vote. Let your vote be counted.


bobberboy 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Soon they will call our state Kochas !


Steven Gaudreau 10 months, 2 weeks ago

"The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities describes itself as a policy organization that works on federal and state fiscal policies and programs that affect low- and moderate-income families. It is sometimes described as left-leaning."

So far left it fell over. Not saying they are not right but it would be nice to see a truly indendent, non-partisan study. Unfortunately someone has to foot the bill and the person who pays for the study gets the results they want.


Bruce Bertsch 10 months, 2 weeks ago

For all of you trying to make this a left wing straw man...Name one instance where lowering income taxes produced additional jobs and revenues. You can't because it has NEVER happened. Brownback, Wagle and the rest of the Legislature have bought into a myth created by Laffer and foisted on the public again and again. For all of you thinking Joco's will just cross the border and buy in Missouri, the sales tax in Jackson County is over 10%; so think again.


Armstrong 10 months, 2 weeks ago

More sky is falling rhetoric from the left


Standing_on_my_own_2_feet 10 months, 2 weeks ago

So many people commenting here think that the State won't collect enough tax revenue under this new plan. Simple solution............ send in more of your paycheck (voluntarily) or ask for a little less handout from the state each month. If you're so convinced that things are going to be so bad for everyone else....... step up to the plate and do your part to make a difference. Hmmmmmm. I wonder how many people will even consider that?


Larry_Local 10 months, 2 weeks ago

What's funny, is that all the "Liberals" in Douglas and Johnson County will be able to just run over to the Missouri side of KC and do their shopping. It's all the people West of Topeka who voted for Brownback that will suffer from his budget. Thanks for lowering income taxes, and now I will be shopping online or over state lines to avoid the increased sales tax. This state is on a fast decline... 2014 can't get here fast enough.


jayhawklawrence 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I think your analysis may be missing the point.

This may have been something as simple as a payoff by people who did not care anything about the consequences.

It doesn't need to make sense. It is a game for these people and it makes them feel superior.

How else can you explain policies that make no mathematical sense?


question4u 10 months, 2 weeks ago

How many of those who pushed through the massive tax cut last year said then that they would be giving us a permanent sales tax increase this year? Who stood up and said what we've just done will create a major deficit unless we increase sales taxes?

Yes, there were "liberals" who warned that this would be a tax shift not a tax cut, but it's not surprising for opposing political parties to criticize each other's actions. Far more important were the voices of moderate Republicans with years of experience with the state budget. They recognized the recklessness of the Brownback tax plan. These were people who knew what they were talking about, but the Kansas Chamber of Commerce spent a lot of money to replace them with people with no experience and little sense.

Either Brownback and the radicals in the legislature knew that they would have to make the sales tax permanent and kept it secret or truly did not know the consequences of their own actions. Neither of these options should inspire confidence now.

All we were hearing last year from these people was that Kansas was going to have a significant increase in jobs. No one was talking about making the sales tax increase permanent then. No one was talking about cutting funding for higher education and prisons. Nobody said that the turnpike would be merged with KDOT. All that we heard was that Kansas was going to prosper.

What reason is there to believe now that these people know what they're talking about when they tell us that lowering the standard deduction, increasing sales tax, slashing funding to universities and prisons, failing to restore cuts to K-12 education, etc. will lead to prosperity?

Level-headed moderate Republicans were purged and replaced with the dumbest legislature Kansas has ever had. This session stretched out longer than any since 1861, and they still couldn't figure out what to do. And we're supposed to believe them when they say that everything will be coming up roses?

Who cares about what the Democrats might say or what might be in reports from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities? Just talk to any of the moderate Republicans ousted by the Chamber of Commerce. They know the Kansas state budget, and its what they have to say about this tax plan that should make us all afraid.


MacHeath 10 months, 2 weeks ago

This is what Brown can do for you.


verity 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Anything left of extreme right is now left leaning.


Lee Henry 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Trying real hard to find another state to move to....I know you rich don't care but can't take any more taxes put on us middle class people....but taking away the deductions that they are doing is going to kill me in this state....little s for state because we are a little backward....brownie and wagle and that guy from leawood wow what a threesome...


Number_1_Grandma 10 months, 2 weeks ago


The legislators know all so well what they are doing to Kansas. And when the state is "ruined" I will be the first to holler for not paying legislators or their insurance to compensate for the ruination of Kansas!

Taxation without representation...


toe 10 months, 2 weeks ago

It is a disaster for government workers and people wanting something for nothing.


Timothy Eugene 10 months, 2 weeks ago

Hilarious how all you have to do is read the title of a story on the LJW and you know it's Scott Rothschild.


irvan moore 10 months, 2 weeks ago

ah shoot, we're gonna be missouri


optimist 10 months, 2 weeks ago

"A nonprofit, nonpartisan organization that analyzes tax policy ..." Really! They may call themselves non-partisan. There is nothing non-partisan about them though. I realized that as soon as Mr. Johnson said "...drain the state’s reserves, cut taxes for the rich, raise taxes for many lower-income families and slash education in the process..." I realize he is dumbing it down to fit it into a sound bite but he is using the same language that the left-wing uses to characterize tax cuts. With no specific evidence or explanation of his statements one can't possible place any value on it.


10 months, 2 weeks ago

Scott, here's the website

@chootspa. This site,, has the CBPP as liberal leaning. You're correct in saying that fact in and of itself will raise a lot of whining from the The Guv's crowd. However, even they should understand that the last report on the Kansas budget had economists from both sides of the fence saying it was the worst plan in the country.

But, don't forget, we're The Guv's own private petri dish Koch-fueled experiment. Lucky us.


Jason Johnson 10 months, 2 weeks ago

I can't find it, what's the Bill number?


Hooligan_016 10 months, 2 weeks ago

My shocked face, let me show you:



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