Jan. 28, 2015
State tax cuts haven’t brought a surge in job growth – even though we were told they would be like a “shot of adrenaline” to the heart of the Kansas economy. In fact, since the tax cuts were enacted, Kansas has continued to lag behind the United States and the region in private job growth.
The nation and the six-state Midwest region are beginning to open up a wide lead over Kansas in job growth. On top of gains in job growth, our neighbors are beginning to reinvest in schools, roads, and communities while Kansas, on the other hand, faces a $710 million budget shortfall over the next year and a half. As we fall behind our neighbors, we’ve now been promised that if we wait a little longer we’ll see 100,000 more jobs created. However, when we look at this promise realistically the math just doesn’t add up.
For example, Kansas has created about 1,200 private-sector jobs a month since the tax cuts went into effect in January 2013 – about the same number of new jobs we added before the tax cuts. Even with these gains since the tax cuts, about half of these new jobs leave Kansas families struggling to make ends meet. For Kansas to create 100,000 new private jobs over the next four years, we would have to increase that average to 2,100 jobs a month. At our current rate of adding private jobs, we would fall short of the governor’s promise by more than 38,000 jobs.
The tax cuts clearly haven’t generated the jobs boom we were promised when the law was passed in 2012. Neighboring states are outpacing Kansas’ job growth without cutting their taxes and are now reinvesting in schools, communities and people. Kansas, on the other hand, is stuck cutting services just to keep the budget balanced.
A couple years back we were promised a jobs boom if we simply cut our income taxes. That didn’t happen. Now we’ve been promised 100,000 new jobs over the next four years. Kansans are likely looking at yet another empty promise.