Trying to Copy the Lone Star State Leaves Kansans Struggling

Feb. 3, 2014

Ever since Kansas enacted substantial income tax cuts in 2012 and 2013, we have eagerly awaited the prosperity and Texas-sized job growth that we were promised would be spurred by these changes.

Unfortunately, our efforts to be like Texas aren’t paying off for most Kansans. In fact, after two years of tax cuts:

  • The vast majority of Kansans aren’t seeing their paychecks grow.
  • Surrounding states that held the line on income taxes are doing better than Kansas.
  • The jobs we are adding aren’t lifting Kansans out of poverty.

Back in November, we heard from the experts who estimate revenues for the state. The bad news? They scaled back earlier expectations of personal income growth in the state for the coming three years. It’s now expected to be below the national average all three years. Where else has this pattern occurred? In states that significantly reduced their incomes taxes in the 1990s and early 2000s.

Recently, Kansans have been told that we’re adding 1,000 private jobs per month, but that’s hardly something to celebrate. It’s less job growth than we’ve seen in surrounding states, where income taxes were not cut. Once again, we trail the national average for job growth. The dismal results for Kansas were predictable: They repeat the sluggish job growth in states that cut income taxes in the 1990s and early 2000s.

If you’re searching for more proof that the income tax cuts aren’t helping Kansans, look no further than the types of jobs that we’re adding to our economy. Six out of the 10 fastest-growing jobs don’t pay enough to keep a family of three out of poverty. No wonder childhood poverty is climbing in Kansas.

Despite that only carefully selected data is being shared with the Kansas public, a deeper look shows that the income tax cuts have failed to create prosperity and are leaving low and middle income Kansas families struggling to make ends meet.

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