Tuesday, 21 November, 2017

Even after Kansas's tax hike, the rich are still paying less

Even after Kansas's tax hike, the rich are still paying less Even after Kansas's tax hike, the rich are still paying less
Preston Stone | 10 June, 2017, 09:17

The Kansas legislature on Tuesday overrode Governor Sam Brownback's veto to raise taxes by $1.2 billion, and national progressives are giddy.

A Kansas tax cuts rollback was pushed through by the state legislature despite Gov. Sam Brownback's veto, signaling another salvo in the fight between the GOP governor and his fellow Republican lawmakers over state finances.

Brownback argued that cutting taxes for households and businesses would stimulate the state's economy, and because more Kansans would be working and investing, there would be more income for the state to tax. The Reagan administration itself admitted that this policy was hugely costly in the fiscal year 1990 budget that it released in its closing days. The measure is created to cover projected budget shortfalls totaling $889 million through June 2019 while providing new dollars for public schools to comply with a state Supreme Court ruling in March that education funding is inadequate.

"What happens in Kansas breaks so significantly with Republican orthodoxy on taxes", said Stephen Moore, a former adviser to both Trump and Brownback.

Supporters had four votes more in the House than the two-thirds majority necessary to override a veto. He said raising taxes will hurt the state's economy. He cut marginal tax rates (which discourage work and investment), but legislators did not let him close many loopholes to pay for the cuts, which meant that the state's revenue plunged much more than expected. This represents a 4.56 percent increase.

While some Louisiana Republicans are trying to limit state spending in a legislative session that must end by 6 p.m. Thursday (June 8), their GOP brethren in Kansas have hoisted a surrender flag and even voted to override their Republican governor on a $1.2 billion tax plan. So radical was his plan that critics called Kansas "Brownbackistan".

Kansas state Reps. John Barker (R-Abilene), left, and Dan Hawkins (R-Wichita) confer during a House debate on tax issues in Topeka. It assessed Kansas as a slow-growing state with above-average long-term liabilities.

"The state has taken a big step backwards", Brownback said. The state is repealing a "march to zero" law mandating further cuts if revenues grow. His radical business- and income-tax cuts, launched in 2012 and 2013, were a political and economic test of how far conservatives could push supply-side economics.

"Trump was supposed to upend that, but it looks like he's not going to", Cox said. After President George W. Bush enacted tax cuts in 2001 and 2003, his Treasury Department did a study in 2006 concluding that those tax cuts generated enough economic growth to offset less than 10 percent of their costs. Nearly half the state budget goes to education. By the end of 2015, Kansas technically was in recession, following two consecutive quarters of shrinking GDP growth.

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