New statewide poll shows overwhelming support for rollback of Brownback tax plan
Over 70 percent of voters feel Brownback tax plan harmed economy, middle class

TOPEKA – The Kansas Center for Economic Growth has released a statewide survey of Kansas voter attitudes to gauge support for comprehensive tax reform. The poll, conducted by TargetSmart, reveals widespread, bipartisan appeal for ending Gov. Sam Brownback’s signature tax plan in 2017.

“The more Kansans learn about the Brownback tax plan, the more intensely they dislike it,” said Heidi Holliday, Executive Director of Kansas Center for Economic Growth. “Earlier this week, lawmakers gave first round approval to a budget that does not balance. As the legislature heads into its final week of work, hopefully this survey will incentivize policymakers to tackle tax reform as soon as possible.”

Here are key findings:

  • Kansans are deeply dissatisfied with both Gov. Brownback and his signature tax plan. Two-thirds of Kansas voters disapprove of the governor’s job performance, with 67 percent who disapprove, and 54 percent who strongly disapprove. Those numbers are nearly identical to discontent with his tax policy (67 percent oppose it and 51 percent strongly oppose it).
  • Nearly all Kansas voters are worried the state is not investing enough public education. Eighty-five percent of Kansas voters feel concerned about the state’s level of spending on public education. Without comprehensive tax reform, lawmakers cannot restore funding to classrooms.
  • There is broad consensus that the Brownback tax plan harmed the Kansas economy and should be repealed. Seventy-three percent of voters feel the governor’s tax policy hurt the Kansas economy, while 64 percent of Kansans support rolling back the Brownback plan.

Of particular note is the level of public awareness about state tax policy. Seventy-eight percent of Kansas voters are familiar with the governor’s tax plan to some degree. What’s even more striking is that the 67 percent of voters who oppose it made that determination without receiving any prior information in the survey. This indicates Kansans are both well informed and engaged on this issue.

“The top takeaway here is that Kansans are dialed in and fired up,” said Duane Goossen, former state budget director and KCEG Senior Fellow. “They want commonsense leadership that will balance the budget, restore funding to Kansas schools, and end this era of fiscal crisis for good. Repealing the Brownback tax plan will accomplish all of these goals.”

These findings are from a telephone survey of 700 registered voters in Kansas (600 interviews statewide, with a 100-interview oversample in Johnson County). It was conducted March 20-22, 2017 and commissioned by Kansas Center for Economic Growth. The overall margin of error is +/- 4.0 percent, while the margin of error for subgroups is larger and varies.

This TargetSmart memo and toplines offers a more thorough review of the survey findings and methodology.

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ClayRELEASE: New statewide poll shows overwhelming support for roll back of Brownback tax plan