By
Calling all Wichitans! Want to pay higher sales taxes to fund, amongst other things, street paving and bus transit? Learn more about the proposal this Thursday at WSU Metroplex. Free and open to the public. Please register here: http://kansaspolicy.org/events/121100.aspx?view=c


Moving Wichitans in the Future: Paving and Transit Via Sales Tax?
www.kansaspolicy.org
A review of the paving and transit portions of the proposed 1% sales tax in the City of Wichita.
Tue, 21 Oct 2014 20:30:40 +0000
By
Is a new tax in City of Wichita- Government the right way to maintain streets and provide bus transit? What are some other possible solutions to the problem? 23 October event to learn more. http://www.kansas.com/news/politics-government/election/article2906173.html RSVP in first comment.


KPI to host forum on transit and street maintenance components of sales tax referendum
www.kansas.com
The Kansas Policy Institute, a conservative Wichita nonprofit organization, is hosting its final community forum on the components of the upcoming sales tax referendum.
Thu, 16 Oct 2014 15:13:54 +0000
By
How will the upcoming elections impact Freedom in America and Kansas? Hear Scott Rasmussen's thoughts and predictions at the KPI annual dinner on October 28 in Wichita. Register today at www.KansasPolicy.org/Rasmussen2014


2014 Elections and America's Future
www.kansaspolicy.org
.
Wed, 15 Oct 2014 14:47:50 +0000
Last Refreshed 10/25/2014 12:05:53 PM
KPIBlog
Print

CLICK HERE to receive daily notification of new additions to the KPIBlog.
You must be registered to comment. Click here to log in.


Posted by James Franko on Friday, December 28, 2012
This post is courtesy of William McBride and the Tax Foundation's Tax Policy Blog.

Since it appears more likely than ever that we’ll go over the fiscal cliff, we might as well start cataloging this historic achievement.

First, it will be the largest tax increase since World War II, at about 3.5 percent of GDP.

Second, the fiscal cliff is a historic income tax cliff. As the chart below shows, it will result in the highest tax rate on individual income (39.6 percent) since 2000, the highest tax rate on capital gains (23.8 percent) since 1997, and the highest tax rate on dividends (43.4 percent) since 1986.

Economic theory and evidence indicates these are among the worst kind of tax increases for the economy. As a result, most economists, including those at the Federal Reserve and the Congressional Budget Office, think this will lead to a recession in the first half of 2013. Arguably, this would be the first recession created by a tax increase since 1969, or, before that, the Great Depression. (The recession of 1990 coincided with a tax increase that was too small to have such an impact on the economy.)

Lastly, the fiscal cliff will be the first major tax increase since World War II to occur under a Republican controlled House of Representatives. The only lesson that can be drawn from that is don't do temporary tax cuts, e.g. the Bush tax cuts, unless you want them to be temporary.

logo

Update: Steve Entin reminds me that the 1990 income tax increase was probably a contributing factor in that year's recession, as was that year's payroll tax increase, and the economy was already weakened by the 1986 tax increase on capital and the 1988 payroll tax increase.
Posted by Dave Trabert on Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Several media reports have recently mentioned that some legislators and Governor Brownback are considering a sales tax increase next year as part of a long term plan to eventually eliminate the income tax.  Eliminating the income tax is a worthy long term goal, but the immediate issue is implementing the tax reform already passed by making all aspects of government operate more efficiently.  Reducing the cost of existing services, including public education, can be accomplished without impacting outcomes but it's hard work.  It requires fortitude and political will to resist the pushback from state agencies and special interest groups.  

Eliminating the income tax may require a slightly higher sales tax but the necessary rate cannot be established until government is first made to operate as efficiently as possible.

Kansas is by far the big spender in the region, with 2012 budgeted spending of $2,124 per resident compared to $1,579 for the states of Missouri, Colorado, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas. In fact, Kansas could reduce spending by $186 per resident to fully implement existing tax reform and STILL be the higher spender in the region.

Low taxes are the secret to strong economic growth and job creation, and efficient spending is the secret to having low taxes.   Every state has essentially the same basket of services but some find ways to provide those services at a better price. Spending less is NOT about eliminating services, it's about providing them at a better price.

Increasing the sales tax in 2013 might appease special interest groups that resist having government operate efficiently, but taxpayers deserve better.

Posted by Todd Davidson on Tuesday, December 11, 2012
If only we could derive our economic health by looking solely at the unemployment rate.  This simplistic view certainly has its perks – namely our economy would be easier to understand – unfortunately, without knowing the unemployment rate can decline for adverse reasons one can be misled into thinking some unhealthy economies are healthy.

The Unemployment Rate = (Number of Unemployed Persons)/(Labor force) – that is, if a state has 5 unemployed individuals and 100 people in the labor force the unemployment rate is 5%.

Mathematically the unemployment rate can decline three ways:

  1. The Number of Unemployed Persons declines while the Labor Force is unchanged or increases (Good)
  2. The Number of Unemployed Persons remains unchanged or decreases while the Labor Force increases (Good)
  3. Unemployed declines at least as fast as the Labor Force declines (Probably Bad)

#1 and #2 are good because new jobs were created.  #3 is bad because the unemployed person just gave up (or moved to another state).  Complicating the matter further, depending on which time frame is chosen; one can see all three instances.  In order to determine if jobs were created we need look at the change in the number of employed.  

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics from September 2012 to October 2012 the number of employed persons increased from 1,396,552 to 1,400,956 in Kansas.  This means the unemployment rate dropped because jobs were created not because workers dropped out of the labor force.

Looking back further from October 2011 to October 2012 we see employment is actually down 7,725 jobs – meaning the unemployment rate is lower than 2011 because unemployed individuals dropped out of the labor force.  

That means we’re in situation #3 above – not good for the people who either given up looking for work or given up life in Kansas to seek a job elsewhere. It also is not good for the state as we have fewer people working, investing, living, and paying taxes in The Sunflower State.

Posted by Todd Davidson on Friday, December 07, 2012
“In the end, the money that towns across America gave General Motors did not matter.” That’s the conclusion of a New York Times investigation of local subsidies.  They chronicle the proliferation of over $80 billion in local subsidies to businesses of all shapes and sizes across the United States.  (You can search the database for yourself here.)

According to the NY Times investigation, “as [GM’s] financial problems grew, incentives became a big part of its math.”  Put another way - as GM’s ability to build cars people wanted to drive declined; they ramped up the ability to take money from taxpayers.

The Fraser Institute’s Economic Freedom of North America 2012 study argues these incentives diminish economic freedom because“[w]hen the government taxes one person in order to give money to another; it separates individuals from the full benefits of their labor and reduces the real returns of such activity.”  

It’s rather intuitive that when we reward lobbying instead of production we get less production, which is why the Fraser Institute’s study “shows a powerful, consistent, and robust relationship between economic freedom and growth.”

Unfortunately, state and local governments in Kansas have been doling out $1 billion to politically-favored businesses in recent years.  The deterioration of economic freedom over the years has resulted in Kansas dropping below five Canadian provinces in the Fraser Institute’s annual economic freedom rankings.

There is hope!  Now that our state has lowered taxes for all Kansans by $800 million it seems there is hope that leaders in Topeka are less interested in picking winners and losers. So everyone in the state will have a little bit more money in their pocket and a better chance to chase their dreams. In fact, if you eliminate the $1 billion in subsidies Kansas governments give every year, then tax relief is paid for and cronyism is turned back. That is commonly referred to as a “win-win proposition.”


Archives