Brownback Tax Experiment: Shot of Valium (not adrenaline)
This week Gov. Brownback’s “experiment” with Kansas tax structure has been noticed by our northern and eastern neighbors of Nebraska and Missouri. They are looking with interest and curiosity not because it has been successful but they are sounding the alarm and using us as a case study of what NOT to do when it comes to cutting income tax.
Below is a summary of what Paul Hammel (World-Herald bureau in Omaha Nebraska), Amy Blouin (Executive Director of the Missouri Budget Project), and Annie McKay (Executive Director of the Kansas Center for Economic Growth) have been saying in their reports to media.
Since the tax cuts became law one year ago:
- Kansas has cut investment in education reducing state aid to public schools by more than $300 per student.
- Kansas Public colleges and universities have had to increase tuition, 3x the rate of inflation.
- Kansas has cut Funding to the state’s transportation network and the safety of Kansas communities
- Concerned about the state’s ability to pay out existing bonds due to the tax cut, Moody’s downgraded the state’s credit rating. As a result, Kansans will pay more for basic government functions.
- Missouri has added jobs at a faster rate than Kansas. And although many companies have reorganized in order to take advantage of tax loopholes, Kansas has seen little increase in net businesses
- Kansas has had to increase local property taxes in order to avoid eliminating vital services
- The scheduled cut toward the temporary Sales Tax was thwarted in an attempt to plug a $700 million hole in the budget
- Kansas rebate program for sales taxes paid on food was almost forsaken but survived with some changes
- A state tax deduction for mortgage interest was cut in half, intensifying the pain when coupled with the necessity for property tax increases
- Kansas has $365 million less revenue this year as compared to last