Archive for Friday, March 22, 2013

Income tax cuts approved in House

March 22, 2013


— The Kansas House approved a bill Thursday overhauling the state’s tax system, setting up talks with the Senate over cutting personal income tax rates and canceling a sales tax decrease to stabilize the budget.

The Republican-controlled House’s vote was 82-39 on a measure that would mandate small reductions in individual income tax rates in each year that overall state revenues grow by more than 2 percent. The bill also would allow the state sales tax to drop in July, as scheduled by law.

The measure goes next to the GOP-dominated Senate, but senators approved their own tax plan last week. The final version of tax legislation is likely to emerge from talks between the two chambers.

The Senate embraced proposals from Republican Gov. Sam Brownback to guarantee that personal income tax rates will decline over the next four years, and the reductions would be more aggressive than the House has proposed. Also, senators supported Brownback’s proposal to keep the sales tax at its current rate rather than allowing it to decline.

Like Brownback, most Republican legislators want to follow up on massive individual income tax cuts enacted last year and contend phasing out income taxes would permanently strengthen the state’s economy. But last year’s cuts created a projected budget shortfall, and the governor has promised to protect “core” programs.

Senate President Susan Wagle said negotiators will have to strongly consider keeping the sales tax at its current rate.

“There’s just no question about that,” said Wagle, a Wichita Republican. “Budget reality will set in at some point.”

Instead of keeping the sales tax at its current rate, the House bill originally diverted $382 million from highway projects over the next two years to other budget uses. But that idea inspired strong, bipartisan opposition, and House members dropped it from their bill.

House GOP leaders said even without using highway funds to cover general government operations, their plan wouldn’t cause a budget shortfall over the next two years, although the state’s cash reserves would dwindle. House Speaker Ray Merrick, a Stilwell Republican, said he believes the two chambers can compromise on the sales tax.

“I’m pleased,” Merrick said. “We’ve got some good positions, and we’ll just see.”

Brownback’s administration argues that further income tax cuts will create jobs and benefit everyone. Critics note that eliminating personal income taxes will force Kansas to rely most heavily on its sales tax to finance state government, and poor families tend to pay a higher proportion of their incomes to that tax than wealthy ones.

Much of what’s in the tax plans approved by both chambers actually raises revenues to bolster the budget. House Minority Leader Paul Davis, a Lawrence Democrat, said lawmakers have been “consumed” by the need to offset last year’s “reckless” income tax cuts.

“We are no closer to a solution that is fair, responsible, or fiscally sound,” Davis said in a statement following the House’s debate.

Keeping the sales tax at its current 6.3 percent rate would raise more than $1.5 billion over the next five years. It is supposed to drop to 5.7 percent in July. Legislators boosted the tax three years ago to balance the budget at the urging of Brownback’s predecessor, then-Democratic Gov. Mark Parkinson, but promised that most of the hike would be temporary.

Many lawmakers, particularly in the House, don’t want to break the pledge, but some GOP legislators are willing if income tax rates drop further.

Meanwhile, Brownback and the Senate want to decrease the state’s top income tax rate to 3.5 percent from 4.9 percent for 2017. Legislative researchers project that the top rate for 2017 under the House plan would be 4.88 percent.


mikekt 1 year ago

When it comes to life,.... ( and a supreme being,..... if you believe that their is something that is greater than ones self ), .....we are all somewhere at the bottom of the food chain,.... and the list of who's really whom .

Nothing wrong with being greatful for what you get or being willing to share to some degree .

Their is always going to be some place, somewhere, where life is beyond ones control, even if you are rich and powerful....they die daily from cancer, in accidents, from conspicuous consumption, thru aging,......and it is also true that neither you nor they can't take it to where ever it is that the dead might go at life's end .

People working at a fast food restaurant and struggling to just get by, pay sales taxes just like a billionaire who resents paying any taxes at all, because they believe that everyone else should pay their tab for them because they believe themselves to be so wonderful and beyond the worth of the fast food expendable employee ......RIGHT ?! their dreams !

There will always be those who will bow to the sick purposes of the insecurely wealthy ( who can never be rich enough for their purposes ) and do the deed of screwing over the poor, for a cut of the action .

Some folks like to make money off the troubles of those at both ends of the financial spectrum by playing both ends against the middle .


headdoctor 1 year ago

What I have never been able to do is understand the posters who are always complaining about taxes along with the users, leeches, etc. Yet they will throw their voting support and approval behind the party that represents the largest group of users and leeches on the face of the planet. Must be just poor education or lack of common sense because they haven't figured out that when the tax laws increase the burden to the middle class and poor it more than likely will affect them. They are so wrapped up in us against them that they can't admit that their party isn't doing squat for their cause.

I would really like an explanation why it is fine for the wealthy to suck the economy dry but not okay for the poor to have enough to live.


Stacy Napier 1 year ago

He is starving the budget, becuase the liberals and the gimme's in this state won't let him cut things to the "people that deserve it" The government doesn't owe anyone anything.


Agnostick 1 year ago

This is warmed-over Reaganomics, nothing more.


weeslicket 1 year ago

said Wagle, a Wichita Republican. “Budget reality will set in at some point.”


grandnanny 1 year ago

If you wrote a big check to the State of Kansas, you must be making some pretty good money or you don't have any deductions. When the roads are full f potholes, the police don't show up for two hours, the firemen don't come at all, then perhaps you will notice what your taxes pay for. Why do you have so much trouble realizing that your taxes are used to pay for things that you use every day? If we don't pay for it, then it won't happen. But you will pay for it every time you buy groceries, buy gas, pay property tax, buy car tags, etc. I guess being nickeled and dimed to death seems better than writing one check.


repaste 1 year ago

This not about taking less, it is about who they will take it from. It is most likely you will pay more at the grocery store, the gas pump, for car tags, Property tax. most of us will pay far more.


Michael LoBurgio 1 year ago

Thursday morning The Kansas House Republicans approved a $400 million middle class tax increase. Last week, Senate Republicans approved $500 million middle class tax hike. The Governor's latest tax plan includes a $700 million middle class tax hike. All of these proposals were introduced to pay for tax cuts Governor Brownback pushed through in 2012, which give the top earners in the state an average tax cut of about $20,000 while enabling business owners go income tax free. None of these plans will generate enough revenue to allow for restored funding of Kansas schools. Please share - your neighbors need to know what is happening in Statehouse.


IKU57 1 year ago

Anytime, I mean ANYTIME!, someone in government does not take, or should I say steal, as much of my hard earned money as they used to, I'm happy.


Richard Heckler 1 year ago

ALEC Brownback hired this worn out economist named Arthur Laffer to write his tax legislation known as Wreckanomics aka tax all others but the wealthy.

Economist Arthur Laffer, patron saint of tax cuts, is back, with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal that he hopes will put the kibosh on future plans for government stimulus.

Laffer, who had his heyday back in the Reagan years, is best known as the popularizer of the notion that raising tax rates beyond a certain level can actually reduce tax revenues by, among other things, discouraging entrepreneurship. The graphic representation of this idea, though not original to Laffer, came to be known as the Laffer Curve.

While he’s always had detractors, Laffer also had a lot of fervent fans back in the day.

But his latest excursion into the public debate has drawn harsh criticism not only from liberal economists like Berkeley’s Brad DeLong but also from stimulus-hating, anti-Keynesian economists you might expect to agree with the Laffer line. The consensus? Laffer seems to have forgotten, or ignored, some pretty basic concepts in economics.

In other words, Laffer is getting laughed off the economic stage.

Read more:


Richard Heckler 1 year ago

Starving the budget and placing more big government in the lives of women. Supply Side economic has always been dangerous since day one.


Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year ago

I guess if you are a taker instead of a maker, you hate this. I wrote my check last week and it hurt. I would like to personally thank all the moochers and leeches out there that will be enjoying money taken from my family and given to you.


none2 1 year ago

I don't know if local governments have the option to begin to have income taxes or not -- such as you see in municipalities in other states such as KCMO. If they don't watch out for property tax to go higher. Brownback wants to starve the budget instead of first shrinking the budget needs. Should we do away with education since that is a big part of the budget? Perhaps Brownback has a new logo to advertise Kansas...

"Kansas, the land of duh's..."


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