Archive for Friday, May 31, 2013

Revenue Secretary Jordan says income tax cuts are key to budget deadlock

May 31, 2013, 4:24 p.m. Updated May 31, 2013, 6:55 p.m.


— Topeka — Kansas Secretary of Revenue Nick Jordan on Friday urged House Republicans to stay focused on reducing state income taxes even if that means increasing the state sales tax.

“We’re part of history here this session,” Jordan said. “The country is watching what we are doing in Topeka,” he said.

Jordan repeated the assertions of his boss, Gov. Sam Brownback, who has said cutting state income tax rates will spur the economy and create jobs.

But to do that, Brownback has proposed keeping the state sales tax at 6.3 percent when it is supposed to decrease to 5.7 percent on July 1. And Brownback has proposed phasing out itemized and standard tax deductions.

So far, plans proposed by Republican House and Senate tax negotiators would increase taxes by as much as $857 million over five years.

Democrats oppose any sales tax increase, saying that hits low- and moderate-income Kansans the hardest. Many Republicans in the House also have been hesitant to vote for a sales tax increase.

Several proposals to reduce the sales tax on groceries have been made to try to win votes in the House, but Jordan warned Republicans against that. He said that if legislators reduce the sales tax on groceries, they will face annual battles over whether to continue reducing that rate or to reduce income tax rates.

As far as the sales tax hitting the poor, Jordan said Kansas spends $3.5 billion per year on safety net programs for low-income families.

Legislators continued negotiating a tax plan in an effort to end the session, which surpassed its 98th day. Earlier this year, GOP leaders said they could wrap up the session in 80 days.

But compromise has been elusive on tax and budget issues.

The House today may start debate on a proposed $14.5 billion state budget that would reduce higher education funding.

Under the proposal, Kansas University would face a 4 percent budget cut over two years and the KU Medical Center would face an 8.2 percent cut, according to figures provided by KU and the Kansas Board of Regents.

The cuts come in the form of 1.5 percent across-the-board reductions for each of the next two fiscal years, plus a cap on salary expenses.

For KU-Lawrence, the cuts total $5.5 million over 2 years, and for KUMC, $8.3 million.

Gov. Brownback had called for no cuts to higher education, but legislative leaders said the schools could absorb the cuts.

In addition, House Appropriations Chairman Marc Rhoades, R-Newton, said legislators want to do an in-depth study of higher education funding before the next legislative session. He said that would include tours of the schools.


Grump 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm sure Sam could find a faith-healer from Florida or Texas to hire (at a double salary) to replace them.

Budgets_Smudgets 4 years, 11 months ago

Since Mr. Rhodes is busy appropriating a $50,000 for a state financed golf tournament to be conducted in his hometown, I'm not too sure he is interested in visiting, or funding, state universities.

Hooligan_016 4 years, 11 months ago

Didn't the legislature just force KU Med to establish a new stem cell therapy center?

Lynn Grant 4 years, 11 months ago

Yep, the schools can absorb the cuts, just raise the tuition AGAIN or force employees out of their jobs!

overthemoon 4 years, 11 months ago

yep. We may not be taxed, thus sharing the burden across the entire state population, but those with kids in school or college will be bankrupted by 'special fees' and up front costs that should be part of every school budget from state and federal sources.

IreneAdler84 4 years, 11 months ago

Surely you are not actually asking that question.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

They have only been raising their tuition the last few years, because of cuts almost every year, or level spending, which is still like a cut.

deec 4 years, 11 months ago

I wonder what percent of that $3.5 billion is actually federal money. And I wonder how much the state spends annually in safety net programs for businesses like TIFs, tax abatements, enterprise zones, training credits, no income, sales or property taxes, etc.

"Kansas spends at least $1.01 billion per year on incentive programs, according to the most recent data available. That is roughly: $355 per capita, 17¢ per dollar of state budget

Robert Schehrer 4 years, 11 months ago

My suggestion to NIck Jordan. Get over yourself. The rest of the country really does give a rats xxx what Kansas is during.

Patricia Davis 4 years, 11 months ago

If Sam thinks this mess makes him presidential, he is crazier than I think he is.

Lenette Hamm 4 years, 11 months ago

More BS from Brownback's mouthpiece(s). Maybe Jordan needs to re-read his "inadvertent" email to the LJW...

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

How does removing revenue sources fix an economy? Decrease income taxes then increase sales taxes???? NO Jordan does not mean that.... or does he?

Supply Side Economics has never been a real economic growth tool ONLY a wreckanomics tool.

Considering the statements that are being made the legislature should stay in session 24/7 from this day forward. Taxpayers would be money ahead.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 11 months ago

I'm thinking this Sam ALEC Brownback administration is cooking the books.... through instruction from Arthur Laffer.

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.

Read more:

skull 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes folks BUY LESS...that'll boost the economy. Makes perfect sense native.

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

Just so people with money can have even more money? No.

question4u 4 years, 11 months ago

Yes, by all means, let's have the dumbest Legislature that Kansas has ever had do "do an in-depth study of higher education funding" a year AFTER they've cut it. It's always a good idea to change a budget and THEN study it. You couldn't ask for a clearer confession of Marc Rhoades' ignorance of higher education funding than this.

Or maybe Rhoades has hit on the smart way to do everything. Buy a new car and THEN read about it in Consumer Reports. Go on a picnic and THEN check the weather report. Play a football game and THEN draw up your strategy. Hire someone and THEN check references. Clean your gun and THEN check to see whether the safety is on.

In Kansas-backwards-land, locking the barn door AFTER you've let the horse escape is good common sense. Just ask Marc!

weeslicket 4 years, 11 months ago

the analogy is: make sure your gun is unloaded AFTER you point it and pull the trigger.

Keith 4 years, 11 months ago

“We’re part of history here this session,” Jordan said. “The country is watching what we are doing in Topeka,” he said.

He's right about the country watching what they do, but wrong if he thinks they're setting a good example. The rest of the country is watching and laughing.

Kate Rogge 4 years, 11 months ago

I can't remember who's all in the circus' clown car and how they got there. Is Nick Jordan a Brownback (Koch) appointment?

tomatogrower 4 years, 11 months ago

They are shifting the revenue flow from income taxes to sales tax. The states who rely on sales tax when we hit a recession are in deeper trouble than the ones who relied on income tax or a balanced across the board, income, sales, property, are hurt. Yes, income tax revenue drops as people are laid off and property tax revenue falls as land is devalued, but at the beginning of a recession, and during recovery, people think twice about spending. And right now people are starting to spend again, now that the recession is over, but I still see a lot of people who are not going to get into that credit card frenzy from before.

cowboy 4 years, 11 months ago

“We’re part of history here this session,” Jordan said. “The country is watching what we are doing in Topeka,” he said.

News Flash Jordan , no one gives a tinkers darn about you , Sam , or your tax plan. You , sam , and your tax plan are a laughing stock. The only people that like it are in Mississippi. They feel they can jump over you to number 49 in the worst at everything polls.

cowboy 4 years, 11 months ago

Correct me if I'm wrong folks , but in looking at Mr. Jordans background I can find no reference to any college / university education. Aren't there any base qualifications for these positions ?

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