Archive for Monday, March 11, 2013

Editorial: After the fact

How can legislation rewarding investments that already have taken place be considered an incentive for business?

March 11, 2013


Let’s see now: You’ve already bought that new car, but under my “cash for clunkers” program — promoted as a way to entice folks to buy new vehicles — I’m going to reward you anyway. Isn’t that a wonderful idea for you, and completely nonsensical? How will that entice you to buy a new car?

Well, that same nonsense is getting wrapped into a measure now making its way through the Kansas Legislature that is promoted as a way to increase investment in certain aspects of agricultural production, such as dairy and poultry operations.

The bill under discussion would provide more than $10 million in sales tax exemptions and corporate income tax credits to large enterprises involved in animal agriculture. The Brownback administration hopes the move will generate investment in production facilities for milking cows, laying eggs and raising livestock for slaughter.

The secretaries of agriculture and of commerce both are enthusiastically endorsing the measure, citing its potential to create jobs and crank up economic activity in the state. The so-called High Performance Incentive Program, after all, was designed to encourage future business expansion.

Unfortunately, this particular piece of legislation includes a provision that would dole out the same incentives to firms that made their investments last year. For some inscrutable reason, the Kansas Farm Bureau and the Kansas Livestock Association are supporting the bill.

However, even lawmakers have taken note that there is a difference between the past and the future. They say that the retroactive provision doesn’t follow the spirit of the original program proposal.

“I’m really struggling with the retroactivity of this,” said Sen. Pat Apple, a Louisburg Republican. And Sen. Tom Holland, who represents Lawrence and who is the ranking Democrat on the tax committee that heard the bill, echoed the concern.

Let’s hope the echo reverberates long and loud. Approve the plan offering incentives to encourage investments in animal agriculture, but don’t make those incentives retroactive to investments already committed.


Doug Harvey 4 years, 11 months ago

"Create jobs"??? This will consolidate the market share into the handful of even fewer individuals associated with Monsanto, Cargill, etc., and drive traditional farmers out. GMOs will continue to be shoved down our throats, and next we'll be hearing about their desire to OUTLAW small farming operations -- the beginnings have which they've already begun in Michigan and probably elsewhere. Go ahead, Kansas, keep voting for these corporate oligarchs (the dictionary calls them fascists). The fantasy land depicted above will dissolve and you'll find yourself living in the economic equivalent of oh, say, Paraguay.

formerfarmer 4 years, 11 months ago

Could somebody identify the bill they are referring to so a person could read it?

Catalano 4 years, 11 months ago

I hate when they do that. Happens all the time in news stories. But there was a hint on how to find it (SB202):

"And Sen. Tom Holland, who represents Lawrence and who is the ranking Democrat on the tax committee that heard the bill, echoed the concern."

Here's a link to the Fiscal Note:

"...The Department of Revenue estimates that SB 202 would decrease state revenues by $10.1 million in FY 2014. Of that total, the State General Fund is estimated to decrease by $9.3 million in FY 2014, while the State Highway Fund is estimated to decrease by $800,000. This bill is also estimated to decrease local revenues by $870,000 in FY 2014...."


Here's a link to the HPIP Program Details:

These are the specific industries that currently do not qualify for HPIP, but would retroactive to 2012 if this bill is approved: SB 202 would add the following industries, listed by their North American Industry Classification System (NAICS) code, to the list of eligible industries that can qualify for benefits under the HPIP Program: chicken egg production (1123), sheep and goat farming (1124), cattle feedlots (112112), dairy cattle and milk production (112120), and hog and pig farming (112210).

Gov #heblowsalot is sure going after those CAFOs in a big way.

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