The Path Forward
We have to start somewhere, and we have to start NOW.
Here’s what the Brownback tax plan did in 2012:
- Set Kansas on a “March to Zero,” phasing out all individual income taxes over time while damaging Kansas’ ability to make needed investments in the future.
- Eliminated the top income tax bracket of 6.45%, cumulatively giving the top 1% of earners an average tax cut of $25,000 while raising taxes on the bottom 40% of earners.
- Eliminated income taxes altogether for 330,000 businesses like LLCs, S corporations, partnerships, farms, and sole proprietorships.
- Eliminated or reduced essential tax credits and exemptions for Kansas families, like the home mortgage interest deduction and the child and dependent care credit.
- Resulted in a $308 million tax hike in 2013 and a $430 million tax hike in 2015. Despite this additional revenue (and nine rounds of spending cuts), there is still a $700 million gap between state revenues and expenditures in 2016.
Here’s a way to fix it in 2017:
- End the “March to Zero,” preventing the future phase out of individual income tax rates and restoring Kansas’ ability to invest in schools, roads, public safety, and strong communities.
- Reinstate a top income tax bracket of 6.45% while preserving current income tax rates for 70% of Kansans.
- Close the “LLC Loophole,” ensuring the state’s 330,000 LLCs, S corporations, partnerships, farms, and sole proprietorships pay the same income tax rates as all other Kansans.
- Reduce the Kansas food sales tax rate of 6.5% – the highest in the nation – to 5.0%, putting nearly $100 million more back into the pocketbooks of Kansas families who need it the most.
- Enact a temporary, three-year sweep from the Kansas Highway Fund in order to avoid a sales tax increase, while simultaneously pairing the sweep with an $0.11 increase in the Kansas gas tax. This will hold the state’s critical infrastructure investment harmless for the first time since Governor Brownback took office.