TOPEKA - Six weeks ago, Gov. Brownback unveiled an income tax plan that raised taxes on the poorest Kansans by 5,102% while cutting taxes for the richest Kansans by 18.5%. Three weeks later, House Republican leadership unveiled an income tax that defunded the largest jobs plan passed in Kansas history.
This week, the House Taxation Committee modified the House GOP plan to create a hybrid of the two proposals. According to the Kansas Department of Revenue, the Republican plan passed out of committee this week raises taxes on the poor by 2,344%. Those making $250,000 or more will receive a tax cut of 5.4%.
“If we are ever going to fully recover from this recession, everyone has to pay their fair share, even the wealthiest of Kansans,” said House Democratic Leader Paul Davis. “Republicans are having a hard time developing an income tax plan that doesn’t hurt the poor because there is simply no way to do it. Income tax accounts for half of our state revenue. There is no way to eliminate half of our state general fund in a way that is fair or fiscally responsible.”
The Republican plan as passed out of committee also maintains the transfer of funds from the Kansas Highway Fund. The Highway Fund is the revenue source for the statewide transportation plan, the largest jobs package approved in Kansas history. The transportation plan will create 175,000 jobs over the next 10 years. Defunding the Highway Fund eliminates those jobs.
“Any tax reform that shifts the burden of funding state services to poorest working Kansans is fundamentally contrary to Kansas values,” said Rep. Nile Dillmore, the Ranking Democrat on the House Taxation Committee. “The plan that passed out of the House Taxation Committee will throw the State of Kansas into a perpetual budget crisis. If you enjoyed the budget cuts of the last three years, you’ll love the next 10 years.”
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