Kansas Legislature to Citizens – let them eat cake

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

With the 2017 Kansas Legislature careening toward a close, the majority of legislators in both chambers are doubling down on efforts to gouge citizens and leave generations of students behind so that those who profit from excessive and inefficient government can prosper.  For those who might think that statement hyperbolical, consider the evidence: As shown separately by the Kansas Truth … Read More

IRS data refutes Kansas tax evasion theories

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Ever since Kansas exempted pass-through income from state income tax beginning in 2013, media and policy analysts declared that doing so created a massive wave of Kansas tax evasion by businesses converting to an LLC or a sub-S corporation.  Even the Tax Foundation jumped on the bandwagon, saying “When the exemption was passed in 2012, it was projected that 191,000 … Read More

Kansas Budget can be balanced without a tax increase

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Ronald Reagan could have been speaking of the 2017 Kansas Legislative Session when he said, “Government is like a baby. An alimentary canal with a big appetite at one end and no sense of responsibility at the other.” Despite knowing that state spending is morbidly inefficient (27 percent more per-resident than states without an income tax) and is $1.1 billion … Read More

A tax on your income tax?

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

A legislative session that has seen a wide range of anti-freedom proposals – e.g., allowing government to set fringe benefit standards for private employers, requiring employees to make donations to unions, stripping citizens of their right to vote on property tax increases – just produced another jaw-dropping suggestion.  The House Taxation Committee wants to impose an income tax on your … Read More

Kansas Budget Deficit overstated by $200 million

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

The reported $900 million, two-year Kansas budget deficit includes $192.6 million of revenue reductions that won’t occur and another $13 million that’s purely optional and needn’t occur.  Collectively, these spending items overstate the budget shortfall by $205.6 million. Each item listed in the adjacent table is considered a ‘transfer’ of revenue rather than appropriated amounts of spending because they were … Read More

Fake news in Kansas promotes political agenda

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

An editorial in the Wichita Eagle reminded me that it’s been awhile since I wrote about fake news in Kansas, and there’s a lot.  The Eagle editorial bemoaned a loss of 400 jobs in February but failed to disclose that private sector employment set a new record!  The Bureau of Labor Statistics data comparing February 2016 to February 2017 shows Kansas … Read More

2017 Greenbook

James FrankoResearch

U.S. Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis saw states as “laboratories of democracy” conducting “experiments” in public policy. Today, more than eight decades after Brandeis coined the phrase, state experimentation with tax policy makes it abundantly clear that tax policy has a direct impact on economic growth. As shown on page 27 for the 2017 Greenbook, each of the eleven states … Read More

Kansas budget can be balanced without tax hikes

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Yes, that’s right, the Kansas budget can be balanced without a tax increase.  But first, here’s some background to put the situation in perspective. When the Legislature raised the sales tax rate in 2015 as part of the largest tax hike in Kansas history, many legislators, special interests and media expressed outrage at the impact on the poor and the … Read More

Efficient, Effective Spending Keeps Taxes Low

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

It’s not access to oil or tourism that allows some states to do without an income tax; it’s efficient, effective spending.  Texas could have all the oil in the nation and still have a high tax burden if it spent a lot more. Data from the National Association of State Budget Officers (NASBO) shows that in 2015, the states that … Read More

Gov. Brownback Promises Veto of $2.4 Billion Income Tax Increase

Dave TrabertTax & Spending

Governor Sam Brownback announced this evening that he will veto legislation that would have imposed a $2.4 billion income tax increase on Kansans over a five-year period.  The Governor’s announcement was made at the Kansas Chamber of Commerce annual dinner, prompting a standing ovation and thunderous applause. Substitute for House Bill 2178, passed by the House and Senate last week, … Read More