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Kansas legislature

Kansas Legislature

Income tax cuts approved in House

March 22, 2013

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— 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.

Comments

none2 1 year, 6 months 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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JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 6 months ago

State law currently prohibits cities and counties from collecting local income taxes.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 6 months 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.

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boltzmann 1 year, 6 months ago

Remember that when you drive on the roads, by your definition, you are a moocher and leach, too. So you should also thank me and others for co-funding the infrastructure of civilization that you enjoy. You can't have it both ways.

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Cant_have_it_both_ways 1 year, 6 months ago

So I guess that means that if you ride the empT on the roads your are a double mooch and social leech? YOU cant have it both ways. I would like to personally thank you for being one of those. It warms my heart in my time of giving just how ungrateful those on the take really are.

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Shelley Bock 1 year, 6 months ago

Cant is the only maker around, he's never been a "moocher". And, he doesn't know that "empT" is now the "T". Be careful because he'll start wanting elimination of "social leech(es)". Cant is always so negative.

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KS 1 year, 6 months ago

Hey moocher! The roads are paid for by the gas tax, certainly at the state level.

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headdoctor 1 year, 6 months ago

If your tax filing is comparable to your understanding of how everything works....You are doing it wrong.

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Alyosha 1 year, 6 months ago

Who exactly are you talking about? What "taker" can you possibly mean? And how are you a "maker"?

What "moochers" are you referring to? What "leeches"?

If you can't detail specifically, with facts, what on earthy you're basing your thoughts on, you're doing nothing but complaining about a fantasy in your own head.

Seriously: try to convince rational people of that these "moochers" and "takers" and "leeches" you're apparently engaging in class warfare with actually exist.

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jafs 1 year, 6 months ago

There are extraordinarily few "takers", from that definition.

The approximately 49% who don't pay federal income taxes generally pay a lot of other taxes, and include retired folks living on SS benefits - "takers"? And, working poor folks who also pay a lot of other taxes - "takers"?

I wonder how many people would fit your definition used in this post. They'd have to pay no property taxes (either directly or indirectly, if they're renting), sales taxes, etc.

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Stain 1 year, 6 months ago

Yeah, nobody pays taxes except you and right wingers.

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headdoctor 1 year, 6 months ago

I would guess that unless you are really making a ton of money you used the tax laws to skip out on what many would have thought to be your fair share. Exactly who is the mooch, leech and user now? You should be careful when you step down off your soap box. Wouldn't want you to hurt yourself and qualify for free medical aid.

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voevoda 1 year, 6 months ago

Cant, let's take a look at the "moochers and leeches out there" that are paid out of tax money: soldiers, sailors, border patrol, police, firefighters, judges, prosecutors, teachers, librarians, professors, food inspectors, archivists, museum curators, garbage collectors, water and sewer engineers, bridge inspectors, VA medical staff, school counselors, air traffic controllers, airport security, prison guards, Coast Guard--I could go on, but it's enough. Do you consider them to be "takers," "mooches," and "leeches," Cant? I don't; I thank them for their service and I don't begrudge them a penny of their salaries.

The real takers, moochers, and leeches are the people who earn huge amounts of money selling people substandard products they don't need. Especially when they then expend all the profits on their own conspicuous consumption, begrudge the payment of minimal taxes, and delude themselves into thinking that they are doing the poor a favor by withholding any assistance.

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JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 6 months ago

Can't have it both ways is the biggest taker of all. He takes our time with his nonsensical faux news inspired rants. He also is a liar or a dupe. Arthur Laffer and his voodoo economics have been proven to be false dogma. Mitt Romney was defeated as American politics have rejected the makers/takers categorization. In fact, it is the wealthy who are the biggest suckers on the public teet. Mitt Rodney's tax break of 15% rather than 35% equal what one person could collect in food stamps through the year 4000.

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months ago

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

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Richard Heckler 1 year, 6 months 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: http://business.time.com/2012/08/09/arthur-laffers-anti-stimulus-curve-ball-is-a-foul/#ixzz2OG2JKGYS http://business.time.com/2012/08/09/arthur-laffers-anti-stimulus-curve-ball-is-a-foul/

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JayhawkFan1985 1 year, 6 months ago

Iku, paying taxes is a patriotic duty just like voting.

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Michael LoBurgio 1 year, 6 months 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.

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booksliveon 1 year, 6 months ago

Teachers are on contract for an average of 185 days per school year. Compare that to many nurses who work 3 days a week. hmmm, 3 x 52 = 156....take your 9 months only excuse and go elsewhere. You want to do something about schools? Hold parents accountable for absentee children, children who show up hungry and with little sleep, children who don't do their work, children who disrupt class, etc. The problem with public schools is not teachers....the problem is a break down in families and those who expect teachers to teach regardless of what walks into their classroom each day. Obesity is the biggest epidemic in our society...why aren't American doctors failures for not getting their patients to lose weight?

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booksliveon 1 year, 6 months ago

"Your red herring moral bullying does not help either." Just what exactly are you doing? Pot meet kettle. Wait, wait. So schools are supposed to teach children how to parent, too? I thought that happened in the home...you know, by parents? I guess we can just add another curriculum standard; now, which class should this be taught in? Hmmmm.

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chootspa 1 year, 6 months ago

In Finland teachers get a higher relative pay than they do here. How does Finland rank?

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headdoctor 1 year, 6 months ago

According to you we should like the destruction of the school system. That way we can keep producing more uneducated angry young people who will keep voting for the Republican party. Oh well. They have to replace the older baby boomers somehow if they want to survive as a viable political party.

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voevoda 1 year, 6 months ago

IKU57, if teachers are so overpaid and underworked, how come you aren't one? Why isn't everybody?

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repaste 1 year, 6 months 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.

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weeslicket 1 year, 6 months ago

according to a local Chargemaster

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grandnanny 1 year, 6 months 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.

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Armstrong 1 year, 6 months ago

That's great news for the water dept. Sounds like nobody will be complaining about rates going up. Gotta pay for those improvements!

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weeslicket 1 year, 6 months ago

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

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jafs 1 year, 6 months ago

What liberals?

KS has been a moderate-conservative state for a very long time - liberals have never been in charge here.

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chootspa 1 year, 6 months ago

Liberals used to be in charge here. Back when liberals were Republicans.

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Stain 1 year, 6 months ago

Says another one who takes completely for granted what would happen if government stopped tomorrow.

You'll be lucky if you're not on the first bridge that collapses, the first to eat the meat that kills someone.

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headdoctor 1 year, 6 months 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.

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ChuckFInster 1 year, 6 months ago

And there are those who CHOOSE to let society take care of them as they lack a desire or motivation to improve their lives.

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