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His Tax Reform: Increases Taxes for Lower-Income Kansans

By Ken Poland
Analysis | January 19, 2012

tax-payer-man-barn-forked-tongue.jpgCOLBY, Kan. - The following is a little snip taken from a Kansas City Star article:

"The Revenue Department's analysis of the Brownback plan examined income tax data from 2009 and breaks down taxpayers into six income brackets. The only bracket with a tax increase ranges from zero up to $25,000.

"That group, made up of 564,328 tax filers, would pay $88.2 million more in taxes under the governor's tax plan. Meanwhile, the highest income bracket making $250,000 a year would pay $110 million less in taxes."

I don't have the resources at my finger tips to validate these figures. But, I've learned that tax reform reflects an advantage for those proposing the reform. Most of Gov. Brownback's agenda is benefiting the upper crust far more than the the hard tack biscuit eaters in the lower income brackets.

Those at the bottom $25K and under will pay more and those in the $250K and higher will pay less. $88.2 million more and $110 million less does not compute mathematically to balance the budget. In addition to those discrepancies, the lower income folks pay a greater percent of their income into sales tax, property tax, and FICA taxes FICA does not go into the State coffers, but it is a tax, in that it is being used to offset increasing federal income tax to pay national general fund expenses. That is certainly an advantage for those in the $100K and above wage earner category and those whose income is not subject to FICA.

Some say rentors don't pay property taxes. Does the $100 per month for apartments or tenement houses not cover the property tax for the landlord?

Our governor seems to blame the exodus of Kansas workers to other states because of Kansas income tax structure. My guess is; you will move to where you can find a job. Or, you'll move to be closer to family, or perceived better climate, or for health reasons, or entertainment venues, etc. etc. But, the bottom line for most folks before moving is job opportunity and pay scale. The bottom line is people don't move from state to state based on state income tax differences.

Many Boeing workers will most likely be leaving Wichita and Kansas. Some will follow the company to a new location. Others will seek similar employment wherever it is available. Income tax will most likely not be a factor. Does Gov. Brownback really think Boeing made their decision to close down in Kansas and move production elsewhere for State Income Tax reasons? I'm not on the upper management team of Boeing (probably not qualified) but I'm quite sure that 1% or 2% difference in income tax liability probably was not a factor in their decision.

Cutting programs that benefit lower income people and increasing their income tax is asinine, coming from a supposedly compassionate religious governor.


2 Comments

Ken--I suspect our governor is a hypocrite. I also am beginning to think he's not too intelligent. If the Democrats could come up with a credible candidate and find the money to challenge the Koch money in the next governor's race, they could win. However, that's not a likely scenario.

As far as his "compassionate" religion, I sense that it's quite convenient for him to claim religion as a way to cover up his ambition, which in turn is funded by the big money donors. His actions speak louder than his words when it comes to taking care of the most vulnerable among us.

Good blog, Ken.


Absolutely agree that individual workers do not decide on where to live based on the income tax rates. BUT, the small business owners and the decision makers for bigger companies absolutely do figure in the income tax rates for different locations when deciding where to domicile their business.

On Brownback's tax plan - do you know if the figures outlined in the Star are net of the "pre-bate" that is supposed to go to the low income folks to offset their tax burden?

And just for an easy reference: $88.2m in taxes over 564,328 taxpayers = $156 each/yr.


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