Archive for Thursday, April 17, 2014

New revenue estimate prompts debate over Brownback’s tax cuts

April 17, 2014


— Kansas tax revenue to fund state government continues to fall because of Gov. Sam Brownback's tax cuts, but administration officials maintained that the state budget is in good shape and that the governor's policies are helping the economy.

State budget experts met Thursday to revise earlier revenue projections for the current fiscal year and for the fiscal year starting July 1.

The new numbers immediately became the focus of the upcoming election season.

The revisions showed that the state will collect nearly $178 million more in revenues than previously projected through June 2015.

"These numbers all confirm that the governor's priorities of growing the economy and controlling spending continue to bear fruits," said Jon Hummell, Brownback's interim budget director.

But the numbers also show that total tax receipts to the state on an annual basis are dropping from $6.33 billion last year to $5.97 billion this year, and then staying relatively flat next year at $6.05 billion.

House Minority Leader Paul Davis, the likely Democratic candidate for governor, said the revenue figures show that Brownback's tax cuts have failed to grow the economy. Brownback approved cuts in state income tax rates and exempting non-wage income from state income taxes for hundreds of thousands of business owners.

"Kansans want leadership that listens to what communities need to grow our economy, not a 'live experiment' that hurts schools and puts us at a competitive disadvantage," Davis said.

Senate Democratic Leader Anthony Hensley of Topeka said state revenue levels caused by the tax cuts in the face of increasing spending demands, such as what will be required to settle a school finance lawsuit, would crater the budget.

"The out years are going to put our state general fund into the tank," Hensley said.

But Hummell said the revenue forecasts will cover state spending over the long term "if you keep your spending under control."

When Brownback signed the tax cuts into law in 2012, he said they would be like an adrenaline shot to the Kansas economy.

Asked about that on Thursday, Hummell said, "How you quantify an adrenaline shot, I'm not sure about, but it's better this year than it was last year."

Overall, the state and national economy is improving from the Great Recession, officials said.

Raney Gilliland, director of the Kansas Legislative Research Department, said state personal income was expected to increase 3.8 percent.

The revenue forecasters include legislative researchers, members of Brownback's budget stuff, Department of Revenue officials and university economists.


Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

Worker's taxes siphoned off by their bosses -

Where is the $47 million tax dollars that belong to Kansas taxpayers?

My congratulations to workers in 16 states – from Kansas to Maine to Georgia, New Jersey to Colorado! Many of you will be thrilled to know that the income taxes deducted from your paychecks each month are going to a very worthy cause: your corporate boss.

Good Jobs First, a non-profit, non-partisan research center, has analyzed state programs meant to create jobs, but instead have created some $700 million a year in corporate welfare. This scam starts with the normal practice of corporations withholding from each employee's monthly check the state income taxes their workers owe.

But rather than remitting this money to pay for state services, these 16 states simply allow the corporations to keep the tax payments for themselves! Adding to the funkiness of taxation-by-corporation, the bosses don't even have to tell workers that the company is siphoning off their state taxes for its own fun and profit.

These heists are rationalized in the name of "job creation," but that's a hoax, too. They're really just bribes the states pay to get corporations to move existing jobs from one state to another, or they're hostage payments to corporations that demand the public's money – or else they'll move their jobs out of state.

Last year, Kansas used workers' withholding taxes to bribe AMC Entertainment with a $47 million payment to move its headquarters from downtown Kansas City, Missouri, to a KC suburb on the Kansas side, just 10 miles away. What a ripoff! Among the 2,700 corporations cashing in on such absurd diversions of state taxes from public need to private greed are Goldman Sachs, GE, Motorola, and

Amy Varoli Elliott 4 years, 2 months ago

You seriously need to tone done your spamming cutting and pasting of stuff, bring it down a notch you post the same 80 things on every article

Brandon Correll 4 years, 2 months ago

So that AMC company moved into kansas right? I know its just from Missouri, but say this company was from New York and moved into KS because of these "bribes" your talking about. Who would get those jobs? You think everyone from New York would move to KS, or would Kansans get these jobs, hence creating jobs. Wow what a concept.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

Politicians are defunding public education because their special interest campaign supporters want OUR public education tax dollars in their bank accounts.

Schools Underfunded 657 million $$$$$$

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

Kansas’ current constitutional crisis has its genesis in a series of cuts to school funding that began in 2009. The cuts were accelerated by a $1.1 billion tax break, which benefited mostly upper-income Kansans, proposed by Governor Brownback and enacted in 2012.

Overall, the Legislature slashed public education funding to 16.5 percent below the 2008 level, triggering significant program reductions in schools across the state. Class sizes have increased, teachers and staff members have been laid off, and essential services for at-risk students were eliminated, even as the state implemented higher academic standards for college and career readiness.

Randall Uhrich 4 years, 2 months ago

The Great Republican Lie: "tax cuts create jobs". Never have, never will. They only serve the plutocracy, and hurt everyone else. We've had enough!

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

Sam Brownback tax guidelines: Through ALEC, corporations voted bills to rewrite the tax code that would increase their profits or the riches of their CEOs by ...

There are several Kansas elected republican officials that attend the ALEC secret meetings on OUR tax dollar nickels. How can this be legal?

Bob Zimmerman 4 years, 2 months ago

Here's what's really sad: this is very poorly written article and none of these posters even recognize it.

Did revenues go up or down and for what year? The cited numbers says yes. The words say no. The headline says: "I don't know".

The rest of the article and ambiguous quotes says that the author and news editor have a weak and lazy mind for editing.

Thomas Bryce Jr. 4 years, 2 months ago

Toatal Tax receipts dropped from $6.33 billion last year to $5.97 billion this year.That is a $360 million dollar decline From last year to this year. Let the Republicans spin it any way they want. It is a Loss Of Revenue brought about by cuts in Taxes to the Very Wealthy and Major Corporations. Math does not lie.

Scott Burkhart 4 years, 2 months ago

The state is in a good fiscal position. Turn it back over to the Dems and we'll have out of control spending and another economic morass like we had under Sebelius.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

This GOP has been the reckless spending giants of the past 35 years. Supply Side economics represents borrow big and spend big.

Borrowing big to cover the cost of tax breaks is among the most reckless of spending ever in history. In other words, Arthur Laffer aka Mr Supply Side economics is getting laughed off the economic stage.

Read more:

Greg Cooper 4 years, 2 months ago

The state is in better fiscal condition because it has cut programs, like educational spending, and because the US economy is in better shape and not because of declining tax revenues.

You can say it's an apple all you want, but an orange is still an orange.

William Weissbeck 4 years, 2 months ago

The same thing is happening in Indiana under the same type of economic theory and government, and the GOP makes the same excuses. We had the second snowiest winter on record, and the local towns and cities ran out of salt in mid January. The state refused to provide more funds to buy more. The roads are a moonscape, but they'll be our cost burden. The state has a $2 billion surplus but won't part with it, not even during the recession. And yet, Indiana wants to rely on the casino money and can't figure out why it's declining too.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

It's happening in Missouri, Ohio,Florida,Michigan,Oklahoma,North Carolina,Pennsylvania,Wisconsin,Maine, New Mexico and Texas as well. Where Koch inspired ALEC has been able to pull off their covert activity.

Yes major confrontation aka political battles are underway in these states as speak. So I read all ALEC inspired eyes are on Kansas elections and Kansas legislative activity. Which places Sam Brownback under a lot of pressure to kill Kansas ASAP.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 2 months ago

ALEC,TEA Party,current GOP, Sam Brownback, Koch Boys and Walton children have discovered common ground over the years.

Can we say Mussolini's ECONOMIC FASCISM - Yes we can.

Stuart Sweeney 4 years, 2 months ago

An appropriate title to this article should have been, "Rome burns while Nero fiddles".

Larry Sturm 4 years, 2 months ago

Brownback can't even add numbers on a adding machine. When you cut taxes and cut school funding you are messing our children's future. I hope the supreme court slams them for their funding bill.

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