Supply-side experiment a loser for Kansas

Every year, right after the April 15 tax deadline, the U.S. Census releases its data on the prior year’s state tax collections. It is a fascinating document, filled with great data points for tax and policy wonks. It reveals a good deal about the state of local economies, economic trends and results of specific policies. In broad terms, the financial fortunes of the states are improving…

There are some truly fascinating data points in the report…

Let’s focus on Kansas, because of all the states its tax data reflects conscious policy choices as opposed to larger economic forces, such as falling oil prices. Continue reading

When elected officials tinker, results usually are disappointing

There has been a lot of debate and even some political arm-twisting going on in Topeka focusing on Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax reform plan, which the House basically supported. After first rejecting the House version and after Brownback flexed his political muscle with several GOP moderates, the Senate reversed itself Wednesday, March 21, and passed legislation that could lead to a compromise with the House.

History tells us that when politicians tinker with legislation designed to reform anything, especially tax laws, well, the outcome usually isn’t favorable to the working class or senior citizens and others who are on fixed incomes.

Brownback’s plan would make permanent the recently hiked state sales tax of 6.3 percent, would reduce individual income taxes, eliminate income taxes for small businesses and eliminate a host of tax breaks such as those for charitable contributions and mortgage interest all designed, he says, to create a better business climate in Kansas to create jobs and stimulate the state’s economy. Continue reading

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