Archive for Monday, March 11, 2013

Kan. lawmaker to offer alternative income tax plan

March 11, 2013


— A powerful Republican lawmaker said Monday he has a proposal to reduce Kansas’ personal income taxes that would also allow the state sales tax to drop as scheduled, avoiding the GOP governor’s plan to stabilize the state budget by maintaining the current sales tax rate.

Rep. Richard Carlson, chairman of the House Taxation Committee, wants to allow the income tax rate to drop annually but only if state revenues grow by at least 2 percent each year. Gov. Sam Brownback’s proposal calls for cutting income tax rates by a specific amount every year regardless of how much money the state is bringing in.

Carlson said his plan also would allow Kansas’ sales tax to drop as scheduled, starting in July, as promised three years ago when lawmakers temporarily hiked the sales tax to help fill a budget gap. The governor’s plan would keep the sales tax where it is — but Carlson said he doubts the House would approve canceling the decrease.

“We feel there’s going to be difficulty in passing the extension of the sales tax,” said Carlson, who shared details of his plan with The Associated Press on Monday, a day before he planned to present the plan to his committee.

Carlson also is proposing that the state divert $370 million from highway projects over the next two years if legislators can’t trim spending enough elsewhere in the budget.

Both his and the governor’s plans follow the massive income tax cuts that were enacted last year to stimulate the state economy but are now projected to create a budget shortfall for the fiscal year that begins in July. Carlson, of St. Marys, said he tried to craft a plan that could pass the House, where GOP leaders have been cool to canceling the sales tax decrease.

The governor also wants to eliminate two popular income tax deductions for homeowners to prevent budget problems. Carlson said he’d like to phase out all individual income tax deductions as tax rates dropped, rather than targeting specific breaks.

Rep. Tom Sawyer of Wichita, the ranking Democrat on the House tax committee, wasn’t impressed with Carlson’s plan. Like other critics of last year’s cuts, he argues that they favored the state’s wealthiest residents over its poorest ones, and he said Carlson’s proposal does nothing to correct the problem.

Also, he said, continued reductions in personal income taxes will handcuff the state’s efforts to finance public schools and force local districts to boost property taxes at a time when local levies already have been rising.

“We’ve got a property tax problem in Kansas, not an income tax problem,” Sawyer said.


kujayhawk7476 5 years, 3 months ago

In their zeal to ignore the need for taxes to effectively run the state, these right-wing whacko idiots are willing to eliminate road and hiway repairs. I hoep each of them must drive on the bad roads on their ways to work.

Don't worry, we won't have schools or decent roads in Kansas once these knuckleheads are through!

Paul R Getto 5 years, 3 months ago

A bit more rational than Sam's plan. Based on math instead of magic and that might help.

Michael LoBurgio 5 years, 3 months ago

112 house rep john edmonds told me sat he questioned brownbacks tax planned and got called into brownbacks office for some a@@ chewing.

Bruce Bertsch 5 years, 3 months ago

The answer is easy...Sam the Sham's magic growth numbers will never allow for negative revenue growth.

Joe Hyde 5 years, 3 months ago

Instead of driving themselves half crazy trying to pull mathematical rabbits out of a magician's hat, conservative Republicans who authored and supported the 2012 tax plan need first to realize that the philosophical foundation of that tax plan is anti-democracy to its heartless core, and thus doomed to fail. We're supposed to be working together, sharing and sacrificing together in this exercise called freedom. The 2012 tax plan was such a radical shift in taxation benefitting the wealthy that the plan's details should rightly have been spelled out and placed on a statewide referendum for citizen approval. But no: conservative Republicans imposed the plan by committing an arrogation of power.

Therefore, the only way those Republicans can salvage their political careers, and their party in Kansas, is for conservative wing members to muster the courage to confront the mistake they made. Repeal the 2012 tax law, reimpose (and in some cases increase) the taxes they removed from business owners. In other words, reset the pinball machine. (And they'd gain a lot of friends by removing the state tax on food sales.)

What conservatives are doing at the moment is making themselves look silly and desperate by distracting us from the fiscal pain they've imposed. This business of assigning different state representatives to take turns poking us with hot-button issues like arresting ATF federal agents, or drones, or abortion, immigration, conceal carry, union-busting, corporate farms, removing state civil service protection, KDOT assimilating KTA, little green men from Mars...yes, all this is quite effective at stirring up the bee hive. Problem is the bees are figuring out who's trying to steal the honey, and the bees will soon punish the greedy troublemakers with a focused counter-attack.

headdoctor 5 years, 3 months ago

Guess Brownback and company didn't learn anything about Federal funding (which he should have known after being in Washington all that time) when he blew away the Kansas Arts Commission. These idiots are wanting to rob the highway funds for various uses. Every dollar they remove from the Kansas highway fund robs the State of Federal funding for highways.

Guess I should invest in Horses and the wagon/buggy market.

Bob Burton 5 years, 3 months ago

There you go again, blaming the conservatives republicans. I beleive that it was Senate democrates/moderate republicans that voted along with the House republicans for the tax package. Have a good day & stay warm.

webmocker 5 years, 3 months ago

SouthWestKs says "I beleive that it was Senate democrates/moderate republicans that voted along with the House republicans for the tax package."

Belief = knowledge?

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