November 11, 2015

On Veterans Day, remember the impact of state tax policy on Kansas military families

EITC helps Kansas Military Families make ends meet, must be preserved

TOPEKA – In recognition of Veterans Day, the Kansas Center for Economic Growth released a new infographic detailing the impact proposed tax policies could have on Kansas veterans and active duty military families in 2016. In Kansas, one in 10 former or current armed-forces families with children collect the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). This equals more than 25,000 veteran and military families.

“The EITC promotes work and personal responsibility while helping Kansas families make ends meet – including 25,000 Kansas veteran and military families,” said Executive Director Annie McKay. “If policymakers want to honor the sacrifices of those who’ve served our country while reducing government dependency among low-income families, they should oppose any effort to cut or eliminate the state-level EITC.”

Unfortunately, at last week’s interim legislative tax committee, lawmakers discussed the possibility of cutting the EITC during the next legislative session. Another proposed option would make the credit non-refundable, which means working Kansans would lose any credit they qualify for past zero (for example, if someone owes $900 in income taxes and qualifies for a $1,000 credit, non-refundability would eliminate the $100 refund).

If plans to cut or eliminate state-level EITC succeed, eligible veteran and military families in Kansas could lose an average of $381. Families spend this money locally on things like groceries and gas, benefiting Kansas businesses and quickly circulating back into the state economy. In total, this tax hike would impact more than 200,000 working families.

These proposals come just five months after Gov. Sam Brownback signed the largest tax hike in Kansas history, hitting low-income families the hardest. Furthermore, just two years ago lawmakers eliminated or cut numerous tax credits and exemptions that benefit the same families, including: the child and dependent care tax credit, the food sales tax rebate and the homestead property tax refund for renters.

“It’s not enough to express our appreciation for military families on Veterans Day while simultaneously eliminating the resources that help them provide for their families,” said McKay. Kansas men and women in uniform risk everything to serve our state and country. They deserve more from their leaders than five tax hikes over a seven-year span.”

The infographic was created by Tax Credits for Working Families.

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ClayOn Veterans Day, remember the impact of state tax policy on Kansas military families