June 16, 2015

TOPEKA – With the 2015 legislative session finally complete, today Gov. Sam Brownback signed the largest tax increase in Kansas history in an attempt to resolve the budget crisis created by his 2012 tax plan. The nonpartisan Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) found the following impact on 2015 income levels:

● Less than $23,000: Average tax increase of $58
● $23,000 – $42,000: Average tax increase of $149
● $42,000 – $68,000: Average tax increase of $299
● $68,000 – $107,000: Average tax increase of $464
● $107,000 – $205,000: Average tax increase of $853
● $205,000 – $493,000: Average tax increase of $1,522
● $493,000 or more: Average tax increase of $5,733

Today’s legislation marks the fourth tax increase on working families in six years. Unfortunately, it fails to address the long-term structural problem associated with the state’s plummeting revenue.

“Every Kansas income group will pay more as a result of this tax increase, but it still doesn’t solve Kansas’ ongoing budget crisis,” said Duane Goossen, senior fellow at the Kansas Center for Economic Growth and former state budget director. “Kansas is draining over $800 million a year as a result of Gov. Brownback’s 2012 tax plan. The tax increase he signed today doesn’t even fill half of that gap. Until lawmakers finally tackle the root problem in a meaningful way, budget crises will be a permanent part of Kansas’ future.”

It is important to note that this budget crisis is not the result of a global economic downturn, as past budget crises have been. Earlier this year, the Kansas Department of Legislative Research issued a budget profile outlining what the state’s finances would look like today had the 2012 tax plan never been signed into law. Not only would Kansans be paying a 14 percent lower sales tax rate, the state would have a $1.2 billion budget surplus.

“If Kansas had not embarked on the 2012 economic experiment, our schools, safety net, and infrastructure would be fully funded and Kansans would not be getting hit with a tax increase now,” said Goossen.

ITEP is a non-profit, non-partisan research organization based in Washington, D.C. that works on federal, state, and local tax policy issues. ITEP’s Microsimulation Tax Model allows it to measure the distributional consequences of federal and state tax laws and proposed changes in them, both nationally and on a state-by-state basis.

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ClayGoossen: Brownback tax hike doesn’t solve budget crisis