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President of Kansas Policy Institute sees new council as supporting continued government spending, eventually higher taxes

The President of the Kansas Policy Institute is dubious about the results that he expects will come from the newly announced Governor’s Council on Tax Reform.

“The three-legged stool is code for, we want to make sure we have high income tax so we can decide who pays how much,” said Dave Trabert with the Kansas Policy Institute.

Trabert believes there is no good policy reason to tax property, income and sales proportionately.

“If you look at the data, it shows, you go back to the last recession, you’ll see that too much emphasis on income tax was really bad for government,” said Trabert. “When we had our last recession, income tax fell 21% over two years. Sales tax was just down 5%.”

Trabert also reminds us that if the state keeps a 7.5% ending balance like in statute, there is a big potential tax bill coming in the next several years.

“They’ve spent so much money, they’re facing a deficit,” said Trabert. “They don’t want to talk about it, but we’re facing an over $1 billion shortfall in the next four years, according to legislative research. That’s just maintaining a tiny 7.5% ending balance, just the spending that’s already committed to.”

This is setting aside the ongoing needs of the Kansas Employee Retirement System, which is counting on continued economic growth to become solvent in the long run.


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