By: Dave Trabert
January 25, 2012
Word Count: 241
Some people think the states without an income tax are able to do so because they have access to unusual revenue streams, but fortunately that’s not true. Florida may benefit from tourism, Texas from oil, etc., but they could still have a high tax burden if they spent more. The secret to having a low tax burden is to control spending, and that’s exactly what those states do.
According to the National Association of State Budget Officers, the states with no income tax spent an average of $2,444 per-resident (total state funds) in 2010; the rest of the country spent $3,572 per-resident, or 46% more. Kansas spent $3,216 per-resident, or 32% more than the states with no income tax. Spending from total state funds excludes spending related to federal funds or from the sale of bond proceeds.
2010 General Fund spending per-resident averaged $1,590 in the states with no income tax; the other states spent $2,112 per-resident, or 33% more. At the same time, Kansas spent $1,843 per-resident, or 16% more than the states with no income tax.
The gap between Kansas spending and other states is likely even wider today; unlike most states, Kansas’ General Fund spending this year is $861 million or 16.3% higher than in 2010. Jobs and taxpayers have been migrating to states with lower tax burdens for years. Kansas can stop the bleeding and become a magnet for jobs by controlling spending and reducing tax rates.
View the full article in the Wichita Eagle by clicking here.