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Sandlian Center Economist asks about spending reduction in latest blog post

Kansas Governor Laura Kelly vetoed the so-called tax windfall bill, in effect raising Kansans’ income taxes to the tune of $50 million, according to an economist with the Sandlian Center for Entrepreneurial Government at the Kansas Policy Institute.

“The latest tax revenue report for the fiscal year to date, we see purchases of sales taxed items dropped $40 million compared to last year,” said Michael Austin. “The question I’m trying to come up with is, are Kansans at large pulling back their shopping in order to have the money to pay for those higher taxes come tax day?”

Austin gets that number by noting that even though prices have gone up 1.7 percent according to The Bureau of Labor Statistics, sales tax collections were virtually flat. This means Kansans used about $40 million less in purchasing power.

“You hope to find that over time, as prices grow, your incomes will naturally grow as well, so you would at least be able to keep up,” said Austin. “That’s unfortunately not happening.”

Kansas’s high income, sales, property and excise taxes make it the 5th worst state for U.S. taxpayers, according to WalletHub.

“Kansas tax rates have been on a constant creep since 2015,” said Austin. “We have the 8th highest sales tax rate in the nation. Last year, we just finished having the largest tax increase in state history.”

The Kansas Legislature returns for veto session May 1.


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