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Would an exemption from state income taxes be enough incentive to keep workers under 30 years old in Kansas?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on February 1, 2005

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Photo of Tyler Gillett

No, because I doubt it’s the taxes that are causing people to leave.””

Photo of Malakai Edison

“I think people who would be making a lot of money might stay, but I just can’t see many other people caring about that little money.”

Photo of Thao Nguyen

“I don’t think it would make that much of a difference. Around that age, people want to explore their options and work somewhere new.”

Photo of Ashleigh Pitts

“I would say yes, but I have to work here anyway. I would enjoy the extra cash, though. It would really help me out.”


JHAWKGURL 12 years, 10 months ago

One word.....WHATEVER. What about the large majority of 31 year olds that might be moving out of state??? Big joke!

Jeff Goodrick 12 years, 10 months ago

what field did you choose. cause right now in lawrence a tech in electrical, mechanical, hvac or plumbing can start out at $18 or $20 an hour cause i just hired one from psu.

3rdBird 12 years, 10 months ago

Here's a better idea, all residents of the United States under age 30 are exempt from Federal income tax. I'd stay.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 12 years, 10 months ago, I don't think it would keep people here. Kansas is great if you want to follow "the Plan". What is "the Plan" you ask? "The Plan" is as follows: high school, college, get a job, get married, have kids. If you're not into following "the Plan", then you've got to get the heck out of Dodge. Kansas City is one of the worst cities in the country for dating. Lawrence, if you are already out of college, is probably even worse. Plus, unless you've REALLY got a thing for the country club plaza, there's not a whole heck of a lot of things that younger people like to do. Face it, Kansas is for old, settled people.

lunacydetector 12 years, 10 months ago

that doesn't sound fair to all the people over 30 that would need to make up the difference.

if the exemption applied to everyone, that would be fair and it would make people flock to our state.

just like Texas.

common sense rules.

craigers 12 years, 10 months ago

I think it could help stimulate the economy and work at the same time. I think that people could use that extra money to put towards making a house payment instead of rent each month. That would help the housing industry and also create a situation when Kansas could get property taxes out of those same individuals. I think that it could definitely work. You know what they say, more disposable income, the more people will spend. Get rid of taxes for those of us who are under 30!!!!!

Liberty 12 years, 10 months ago

I think that a better incentive would be for small businesses to be exempt from taxes until they become profitable over 60k per year. This would allow at least their needs to be met and a base under the company to afford to add jobs later and pay taxes as they expand and prosper.

mrcairo 12 years, 10 months ago

People under 30 pull down what, $8.50 an hour after working their way up from $6.50 an hour over a 10 year period? Whoopee Whoo Hoo. If they're so smart how come they're working for beans?

Earning power is maxed in the late 30's to late 50's. So, these folks are going to be hit with State Income Tax... don't think so.

Your max wage earners will split so fast it'll make your head spin.

Why not dump State Income Tax and increase the sales tax. Double the sales tax on luxury items, fancy SUV's, houses that sell for over 250k, cigs, booze, sporting events tickets, etc.

Liberty 12 years, 10 months ago

People under 30 will stay in Kansas if there is a good financial environment for them to prosper in and a good future. This can be accomplished by taking the tax burden off of the job and company creating machine of small businesses.

The Federal government should tax those outside of the country instead of those inside of the country. (Tarriffs instead of taxes). This would promote made in the USA and take the burden off of your own country and transfer it to those who would try to profit off of exports to your country. This would turn around the trade imbalance. Historically, the United States has prospered when we use tarriffs and export more than we import. Today, it is backwards and we are reaping the results of this poor trade policy.

captain_poindexter 12 years, 10 months ago

Mister_Joe, I don't get it, can you give me another 1000 words on the subject?

Bad_Brad 12 years, 10 months ago

I'm a 30-year-old professional with a graduate degree, and the reason why I left Kansas along with so many others like me is that Kansas is a great place to be raised and get an education, but as far as finding good employment, forget about it.

I agree with the legislator from Hutch in the article who said that the state's energies would be better spent trying to stimulate more economic opportunities for young adults.

ive_got_my_ascot_n_my_dickie 12 years, 10 months ago

It would be throwing money away. The only people who would benefit are people who had no intention of leaving anyway. If I person wants to move to a big city, a Kansas tax break won't deter them. A better idea would be to give a tax break to residents who fix-up old homes. Lawrence is full of many great old homes that have fallen into disrepair. If a financial incentive was given to allow the homeowner to make improvements, it would clean up the neighborhoods quite a bit.

captain_poindexter 12 years, 10 months ago

yeah, not sure if Zac meant to post that on LJWorld.

wow, very disturbing.

BunE 12 years, 10 months ago

Zac: Racist pig. Clean up your tissues and get a job.

Tax breaks for under 30s? Are you kidding me? How about industry? You know missouri is thinking about banning cloning. Move the Stowers to Lawrence!!! Not only would you have top flight scientists curing the ills of the people, it would bring international recognition to the city, stimulating more development.

acg 12 years, 10 months ago

Am I the only one that thinks Zac is somewhere touching himself inappropriately? And to a jworld blog? Dude, seriously, come back to the pack, man. We'll take care of you.

I think 30 somethings may not want to make KS their permanent state of residence and it has nothing to do with $$, in my mind. I think that younger people are more liberal in their thinking, more open minded, more tolerant of different ideas and lifestyles. This is the bible belt after all. With folks trying to change the science standards to exclude evolution from being taught, and with discussions about constitutionally banning gay marriage in the state, etc. why would a younger, more progressive person want to live here? Kansas is a pretty oppressive state.

Liberty 12 years, 10 months ago

There are plenty of "top" jobs out there that no one can qualify for. What Kansas needs are the jobs that the average 18-30 year old can obtain, and receive training at the job instead of only from a school along with a pay scale that allows a decent living. Kansas needs to impress upon companies that it is to their tax advantage to supply training and bring up their employees because college education does not cover what businesses really need. A college education merely acts as an employment screen in many cases rather than a necessary requirement to perform the position.

merrywidow033 12 years, 10 months ago

wow. that was disgusting. but it looks from zac's other posts, it seems to be a repeating ordeal. can ljworld get him removed? i'm all for free speech, but that was just vulgar and offensive.

mrcairo 12 years, 10 months ago

Zac, your comments disgust me. I think you should move in with the Taliban. I'm reporting your post and hope to see it removed soon.

Thao, on behalf of everyone in Lawrence, please accept my apologies for that post.

Fangorn 12 years, 10 months ago

Zac_McGraw, whoever you are, let me put this kindly. Go away! If you want to contribute the discussion, please do so. But these types of comments are not welcome here. If it means that much to you, call some of the 900-numbers in the Pitch Weekly.

I was disappointed not to find Lulu's thoughts on this subject, so allow me to be pre-emptive and anticipate her remarks: "Taxes shouldn't be lowered for anyone. They should be raised. Eighty to ninety percent would be just about right. That way we could fully fund all the wonderful programs the government has to make our lives better." I know I'm a poor substitute for the "real" thing, and I apologize for my impatience. I eagerly await the views of my favorite, for-out Lawrencian.

As for my own thoughts, I believe Mr. Gillett has it right. Taxes are not what's driving young people away. This is true for the entire Midwest. I moved away after college and lived in quite a few other places. It was fun and interesting. Coming back seemed more like a decision to settle down. Creating more attractive, career-type jobs would do more to keep younger people in the state.

Like mrcairo, I would support abolishing the income tax in favor of a higher sales tax. I would also exempt food from taxation (groceries not fast food). Nebraska does this and it helps those in lower income brackets. However, I believe it is a bad idea to increase drastically the taxes on high-end goods. By destroying jobs, the "luxury tax" in the early 90s lost more tax revenue than it brought in with its higher rates on yachts, sports cars, etc.

adrian 12 years, 10 months ago

Zac_McGraw has been banned for being grossly inappropriate and way off-topic.

captain_poindexter 12 years, 10 months ago

nice, see ya zac. good riddance. good job, I'm sure everyone thanks you.

tell_it_like_it_is 12 years, 10 months ago

As I understand it from the article who they are trying to keep are the young educated people in the state. Those with a college degree. Well I can tell you right now I have the misfortune of working with some of those kind of people and from what I can see they aren't worth the trouble. Most of them are nothing more than a bunch of educated idiots. When they think they are dangerous. I think I'd have to move out of the state of Kansas before I'd let my taxes be raised to pay for them to stay.

fenchurch42 12 years, 10 months ago

Cutting state taxes for anyone is only going to cut funding for a state that's already unattractive to younger people. What little good is going on is just going to be harder to maintain.

It certainly isn't going to make the older generations, who need the money just as much if not more, appreciate it's youth, either, is it?

And with reference to allowing those under 30 to use the extra money to make house payments, etc., that's just shy of ludicrous. Getting a return could possibly do that for the most mature and responsible among us (who I'm guessing would be able to do that with or without the extra bit of money), but just not even having to pay it is just going to go to more beers on the weekend, more new outfits, more car stereo customizations, and (best case scenarios) a deposit on a nicer apartment or toward student loans. In addition, since they haven't had to pay state taxes for 10-15 years, they're only going to throw their heads back and howl when they do start having to pay them after thirty. The better idea is to introduce the idea that a certain amount of taxes, including state ones, are going to come out of our paychecks at a point in time when it's just pin money (15/16/17) so that when we actually need to start budgeting (20s, and into 30s) we won't have unrealistic fiscal expectations.

On a side note, seeing taxes taken out of their checks makes people sit up and ask "Where's it going?" For a young person, this curiosity and involvement in state affairs can only be positive.

(oh, and just for those people who are always curious, I'm 25 and making an average wage. I'm someone who would benefit most by this idea, and I think it's crap.)

kansas 12 years, 10 months ago

I think that this tax exempt idea for those under 30 is as silly and nonsensical as the law Kansas had (until recently) about how much to tax used vehicles!! That idea (the used car sales tax) was so silly and unfair it made me wonder how it ever got passed in the first place!! Thankfully, it was repealed!! I would have thought that the Kansas Legislature would have learned its lesson about proposing and passing such ridiculous ideas!!! But after reading this article, I guess not!

fenchurch, I agree with what you said about what young people would probably end up doing with their extra money!!

tell_it_like_it_is, I'm not sure I can agree with your jaded view of our state's young people.

I think our state's young people are, indeed, our future and we need to keep them here! But this idea is not the correct way to go about doing it! I wish I knew all of the answers, but I don't. But one thing I do know (and I think it's rather ironic)is that if there was some way to lure more businesses and more young people to our state, it would undoubtedly lead to more traffic and higher short-term housing costs in the Topeka-Lawrence-KCK corridor, and that's the kind of thing that most people who live here already cannot stand! Look at the traffic and housing issues we already face here in Lawrence!!

It's interesting to think that if there ever came a day when Kansas had more job opportunites to be had, it would probably mean that Kansas would have certain other issues that would become even harder to deal with!

So many questions, so many issues! I have a feeling that things will only get worse before they get better. But hopefully, in time, things will get better, one way or another! (Just as long as "things getting better" doesn't involve truly bad ideas like this one!)

tell_it_like_it_is 12 years, 10 months ago

I wasn't talking about all our young people (I happen to be a parent of a couple of them young people myself). I was talking about those little educated dumb aes that think there st don't stink.

captain_poindexter 12 years, 10 months ago

Oppression = "family values"

how's that? Last time I checked we didn't have a state senator trying to impose a sin tax on strip clubs and such.

and, by the way, I have a great time in Kansas. Lawrence is terrific. Kansas City isn't THAT bad. And Wichita, well, got me there.

Just kidding 'tah-town folks, love ya!

madcow 12 years, 10 months ago

I will be 22 in a few days, I have an associates degree and 3 years in a tech school. I have yet to find a single job in Kansas that will utilize any of the skills that I have learned. There are no entry level tech jobs here, at all. Meanwhile, everything I have learned is slowly leaking out of my brain.

So, I really dont think a tax break is going to keep me from moving away as soon as im done with my next degree. Im out of here.

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