Archive for Thursday, June 13, 2013

Brownback signs Kansas income tax cut bill into law

June 13, 2013


— Proclaiming Kansas “open for business,” Gov. Sam Brownback on Thursday signed into law a measure that makes additional income tax cuts over the next five years while generating new revenue through higher sales taxes and other adjustments.

He said the changes make the Kansas tax code “fairer, flatter and simpler for families and small businesses.”

“This approach broadens the base and lowers tax rates for the benefit of the maximum number of Kansans,” Brownback said during a ceremony at a construction site in Overland Park. “The result has been three years of historic and innovative tax relief. Our pro-growth tax policies will pave the way for Kansas to be the best place in America to raise a family and grow a business.

The changes in income tax rates include an adjustment in the standard deduction for personal income taxes starting in tax year 2014.

The legislation also addresses the state sales tax, which had been scheduled to drop in July from 6.3 percent to 5.7 percent. Lawmakers voted instead to trim the rate slightly to 6.15 percent, which will raise an estimated $777 million over five years.

Senate Minority Leader Anthony Hensley, a Topeka Democrat, said Brownback isn’t pursuing lower taxes so much as pushing to shift the burden to paying taxes to poor and middle-class families. He mocked the governor for planning a trip to the Paris Air Show shortly after signing the bill.

“It’s reminiscent of Marie Antoinette — ‘Let them eat cake,’” Hensley said.

Legislators approved the measure this year after passing massive income tax cuts in 2012. Brownback has said he hopes eventually to eliminate the state income tax entirely.

The tax package was viewed by Brownback during the 2013 session as completing what he sought to do last year when the first phase of tax cuts were enacted. That plan originally had several so-called “pay-for” provision that sought to offset the rate cuts by eliminating certain itemized deductions and exemptions, including those for mortgage and interest payments.

In the 2012 law, Kansas collapsed the three-bracket system into two and lowered rates. It also boosted the standard deduction for married couples and single parents and exempted the owners of 191,000 partnerships, sole proprietorships and other businesses from income taxes.

Conservative Republicans pushed the initial cuts through last year while acknowledging that the plan was too aggressive and would need refinement in 2013. Those changes in the bill signed by Brownback on Thursday include decreasing income tax deductions over time as overall rates drop, as well as giving a less generous standard deduction for married couples and single parents.

The top in personal income tax rate will drop to 3.9 percent for 2018, down from 4.9 percent, and promises future rate reductions in years when revenues grow more than 2 percent.

Hensley said the tax policy pursued by Brownback will cause ongoing financial problems for the state and jeopardize funding for schools, higher education, social services and public safety.

“It just won’t work. The numbers don’t add up,” Hensley said. “The road map is a road map to ruin.”


none2 5 years ago

Brownnose and his henchmen are such an embarrassment to this state. Unfortunately, the ignorant masses of voters love this mess. The rest of the country really don't laugh or cry at Kansas. They really don't think of Kansas at all because it would be a waste of mental energy to do otherwise.

Mike1949 5 years ago

Kansas will turn into a welfare state because brownback is raising taxes on the poor, lowering taxes for the rich..... I use to cry myself to sleep at one time, but give up! All I can do is watch my home state fall apart.

Matthew Herbert 5 years ago

You use the article in Rolling Stone as a reference point? If we are judging tax policy based upon the opinions of RS, we've got bigger problems than Sam Brownback

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

Did you even bother to read the article? Do you know anything about the writer, or the rest of the writing staff at RS?

And why no comment about the Christian Science Monitor?

overthemoon 5 years ago

Rolling Stone has some of the best political writers in the business. Deep, careful analytic stories that go much further than most any other media source. If the tilt seems liberal, that's because reality isn't kind to the far right. Their only fault is that they write for people who can handle a long, in depth discussion. Not those who want 10 second sound bite buzz talk.

optimist 5 years ago

Yeah, that's why they are perceived to be left leaning...

chootspa 5 years ago

The deep analytical writing is a dead giveaway, isn't it?

Shelley Bock 5 years ago

My father's favorite weekly political read was Rolling Stone. He originally read it for the music reviews, but got hooked on the political insight.

Oh, and it was addressed to "1st Sgt, (Hepburn's Dad), USMCR". He took it to his Reserve meetings to read when there was a break. In his opinion, it was a great source of political analysis.

tomatogrower 5 years ago

I haven't read Rolling Stone in awhile, but I know they used to have some very good political analyst. And PJ O'Rourk (sp?) was not exactly a left leaning person. Does he still write for the magazine?

Bobby Burch 5 years ago

RS has incredible political writers, have you ever picked up the magazine, or perhaps bothered reading the article?

TongiJayhawk 5 years ago

I find any article a little concerning, when they begin with name calling from either side!:

Rogue State: How Far-Right Fanatics Hijacked Kansas "Gun nuts, anti-abortion zealots and free-market cultists are leading the state to the brink of disaster"


Rogue State: How Far-Left Fanatics Hijacked Kansas "Pacifists, abortion loving zealots and socialist cultist are leading the state to the brink of disaster"

Leslie Swearingen 5 years ago

The article in Rolling Stone is a very good one and very through, something that is lacking in a lot of reporting today. Thank you for the link.

Hooligan_016 5 years ago

I read the RS article yesterday, it was tremendous. I would like to have the KS reps take a look at it and defend their actions, but I'm afraid my head would explode from the hotair they would be bellowing.

George_Braziller 5 years ago

I'd love to read a written defense from Senate President Susan Wagle. Maybe her head would explode trying to write one justifying the Legislature's actions and Brownback's policies.

gccs14r 5 years ago

The people who can afford to will simply pop over the border to another state to shop. The people who will bear the brunt of this live in the middle of the state.

If I lived in Braman, OK, I might offer a "mailing address" to folks in SC Kansas (for a small fee) to have stuff delivered there to avoid the higher sales taxes in Kansas.

gccs14r 5 years ago

It's over 2%. That doesn't mean much on a $100 grocery bill, but if you're going back-to-school shopping for 3-4 kids, it could make it worthwhile to tack on a few miles to go to the Plaza instead of to Oak Park Mall.

lawdog 5 years ago

WHO IS HE waving at? Nobody else in this photo are smiling or waving back.

irvan moore 5 years ago

ah shoot, we're gonna be Missouri west

elyse 5 years ago

I can't wait until he is known as the "former Kansas Gov. Brownback."

James Nelson 5 years ago

Let us also hope that the reason he would be the former Kansas Gov. Brownback is not because he was elected to higher office.

Anthony Mall 5 years ago

So then it is also benefiting Union Pacific, Boeing, ATT, BNSF, KCPL, and others who contributed more than the Koch family to Brownbacks campaign for governor... It's ok to hate but at least hate everyone responsible and not just the one most people will like.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

While many wealthy corporate interests are on the same oligarchic/corprofascist bandwagon that the Kochs are, the Kochs have been front and center in the campaign to crush the middle and working class.

Brandon Correll 5 years ago

u guys do realize that the businesses you just listed employ a lot of kansans right?? the less taxes they pay the more employees they can hire. do you understand that concept??

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

If you believe that, I'm sure they have a bridge they'd be willing to sell you for a very reasonable price.

chootspa 5 years ago

Except for the part where they've actually laid off thousands of employees while their taxes were lowered and their profit margin has soared, sure. So other than all the historical evidence to the contrary, this fantasy is spot on!

Lisa Medsker 5 years ago

They usually lay off employees AFTER they "absorb" their retirement accounts, established after twenty years with another company that was bought by Koch. Oh, and they cut the previous salary by about 20%. Good stuff! Just ask my father!

Liberty275 5 years ago

This is great and all, but when are we going to do away with state income tax completely? Why is that taking so long?

tomatogrower 5 years ago

The tax cuts will be automatic and slow in coming to guarantee Brownback's reelection. The worst results of his experiment will occur after he is no longer governor, and he can blame it on someone else. Just like his phony little journey in support of higher education. "It was the legislature's fault. I tried to stop them."

Lee Henry 5 years ago

Flying to france on our money or his....I doubt his....what a sham for a leader of a state....down hill brownie a good fit for a nickname.....

Shelley Bock 5 years ago

We can only hope the EU air traffic controllers' strike, based in France, is permanent.

Mike Hoffmann 5 years ago

"The changes in income tax rates include an adjustment in the standard deduction for personal income taxes starting in tax year 2014."

An "adjustment"? Call it what it is, a reduction.

smileydog 5 years ago

At least he's more honorable than Sebelius. He's better than she ever was.

Hooligan_016 5 years ago

Excuse me, adults are talking here.

Get real.

optimist 5 years ago

Abolishing taxes on income should be the goal of anyone that values liberty. As we've seen with the IRS recently; thoughts, political beliefs, religious beliefs and associations are being evaluated by bureaucrats to determine their worthiness before giving them tax exemption. Who gets to say which views are right or wrong? It shouldn't matter which political party is in power or what positions are being attacked in this way. This is supposed to be a free country and as long as we give power to one person or group of people to determine the worth or limit of another’s liberty it no longer is a free country. Consumption based taxes are the only objective way to raise revenue that prevents this encroachment. No matter your beliefs about funding social programs, which I believe is a separate issue; we need to address the oppressiveness of the IRS tax code and the potential for abuse of the current tax system. It has since its inception been used to manipulate the behavior or activities of nearly every American through economic impact. The IRS has become a tool of politicians to divide us into small groups that can be turned against one another to keep us from addressing the real issue, their incessant need to spend money and retain power. I implore you all to ignore the R or D and look behind the curtain.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years ago

If fair taxation is the goal, a progressive income tax is the only type that will achieve that. But only if it's levied in a transparent way, without myriad loopholes and exemptions, and that includes the sham 501c(4) "social welfare" organizations that are at the heart of this so-called scandal.

chootspa 5 years ago

A progressive and tiered taxation system with very few exemptions - based mainly on income that starts at 0% and has the highest tier at no more than 80%.

chootspa 5 years ago

You mean like coal minors? They work hard and take risks every day. Firefighters? Policemen?

George_Braziller 5 years ago

The only tax exemption is usually property tax. Most still have to pay sales tax on purchases and sales. Even church-run thrift stores have to collect sales tax but the sponsoring church is completely exempt from even property tax. How about getting rid of THAT loophole? Separation of church and state has to do with not having a required religion yet churches just love to buy up property because it's all exempt from taxes.

chootspa 5 years ago

The church isn't paying sales tax on that. The consumer is.

George_Braziller 5 years ago

Never said the church was. Try reading before commenting -- "Even church-run thrift stores have to collect sales tax ......"

chootspa 5 years ago

I was. Unless someone has deleted a comment somewhere in the thread, my comment was directly related to your response. Try reading the whole thread yourself sometime.

George_Braziller 5 years ago

I've read it all and my original comment is still there.

chootspa 5 years ago

Then you'd see that you replied to a comment from bozo re: progressive income tax and the way "social welfare" organizations are exempt by talking about property tax exemptions and church thrift stores collecting sales tax. I clarified that this was still not a tax on the church itself, since it was directly paid by the consumer, which was not an agreement or disagreement either way about the rest of your opinion on loopholes for churches, and then you got snippy.

oldbaldguy 5 years ago

"freedom isn't free its a word for something else to do"care of Kristofferson

Leslie Swearingen 5 years ago

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose,
And nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free,
Feelin' good was easy, Lord, when Bobby sang the blues,
And buddy, that was good enough for me,
Good enough for me and my Bobby McGee.

Good song, the man and his friends lived long and interesting lives. By the by, have you saw any of his movies?

question4u 5 years ago

"Kansas is open for business."

It's only the hearts and minds that are closed.

skull 5 years ago

Yes, these last 150 years have been sooooo horrible for the people here in Kansas...better change everything.

kernal 5 years ago

It's time for the GOP to throw the Liberterians out of the sandbox or start a new party for Moderates.

mdlund0 5 years ago

(sings to REM tune) it's the end of the world as we know it...

jaychalk 5 years ago

So I just recalculated my 2013 KS income tax estimate based on this new law and I will owe more taxes in 2013 than before the bill was passed. The increase is driven by the 30% haircut on itemized deductions (for most taxpayers that is mortgage interest and property taxes). Awful, awful tax policy. The politicians are using smoke and mirrors, having everyone focus on the statutory income tax rate reduction, instead of the reduction of itemized deductions which will increase everyone's effective rate. And, yes I am a CPA so I know what I'm doing.

Standing_on_my_own_2_feet 5 years ago

I love this. I am very excited about this entire plan. This is real leadership!!

Standing_on_my_own_2_feet 5 years ago

Optimist........................................ Right on!!! You said it so well!!

Leslie Swearingen 5 years ago

Well, now that is interesting because when I bought food at Dollar Tree I could use my Vision Card and I payed tax.

Leslie Swearingen 5 years ago

The frozen dinner is every bit as good as Banquet, and so is everything else I have tried from the frozen food case. I haven't tried their canned food, but generic pop is pretty much the same no matter where you buy it. Candy is candy. I wouldn't dismiss it out of hand simply because it is from a dollar store.

Hooligan_016 5 years ago

So are Kansas residents going to finally wake up and realize that the (R) next to a candidates name does not mean what they think it means? This measure is going to negatively impact a majority of State residents. Hopefully some of the damage can be undone next election ...

/not holding my breath on that last one

//NW Pacific coast is looking nice


skull 5 years ago

Actually you may want to look at Cali again:

Weather, culture, economy...California sounds great. What's so great here?

phoenix2110 5 years ago

Sold! You all look after Kansas for me!

Stu Clark 5 years ago

Yes, DTRM, do look at California. The legislature passed a new budget and voters approved a tax increase. Things are definitely looking better than the mess in Kansas.

TongiJayhawk 5 years ago

Didn't Kansas just approve a tax increase?

jafs 5 years ago

Yes, but before that they passed a major tax reduction.

Overall, it's projected to create a rather large budget deficit.

James Nelson 5 years ago

The governor is simply wrong when he proclaims his new tax plan is fairer and flatter at the same time. Its impossible for a flat tax to also be fair to the poor and middle class taxpayer. His comment about fairer and flatter can only apply to the rich but taxes have just gone up for the poor and middle class. But Sam only has eyes for the wealthy. It has always been impossible for him to place himself in the shoes of those less fortunate. While he darts all over the world (the Paris air show is next) trying to drum up support for another run for the presidency we Kansas taxpayers keep footing his travel bills.

I hate to burst his bubble but even most Catholics do not support his archaic views on birth control and abortion. In fact, its his extreme beliefs that will keep him from ever winning ANY nationwide election. Its just a shame that he has so far successfully led a bunch of dimwitted, masochistic voters (even though they don't know it yet) into keeping him in office. More and more of them are waking up, though, especially after he just gave all their bosses a free ride on state income taxes.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

Kansas would have been wayyyyyy better off if Brownback would have stayed in Washington D.C. He should move back to the beltway.

Richard Heckler 5 years ago

Supply Side Economics has been failing the nation for 33 years. Supply Side Economics includes job losses as has been clearly demonstrated for the past 33 years.

Case in point: Sam ALEC Brownback laid off tons of state workers.

Centerville 5 years ago

Hensley voted for the original, higher sales tax. He certainly wasn't worried about who it would hurt then.

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