The Buzz

Missouri, Kansas tax policy argued in morning meeting

Updated: 2013-09-17T14:37:21Z


The Kansas City Star

The limited-government endorsing, low-tax supporting Show-Me Institute held its promised symposium on tax policy in Kansas and Missouri this morning in Kansas City.

The topic: “Is it time to leave Kansas City?”

We caught about half of it — traffic, you know — but what we heard provided few surprises.

“Taxes matter,” said R. Crosby Kemper, who introduced the panel.

In general, panelists and audience members said recent tax changes in Kansas, coupled with Kansas City’s regressive earnings and sales taxes, will likely provide a new incentive for residents to move out of the city.

Panelist Patrick Ishmael said the decision to leave a community involves tax policy, but said it wasn’t the only reason people move. Tax policy “is a contributing factor, not a motivating factor,” he said.

But he said that could change with the Kansas tas cuts.

Recent tax policy changes in that state provide major tax reductions for some small businesses, especially attorneys, accountants, and other small service providers.

Those companies, of course, are more free to move to the state than manufacturers or some retailers.

Ishmael said he doesn’t believe claims that Missouri is a “low tax” state.

Panelist Greg Allen offered one observation — “Taxpayers have no spokesman,” he said.

There was little discussion of the impact tax cuts will have on providing government services. And, while we were there, no one talked about Kansas City voters’ overwhelming decision a couple of years to keep the 1 percent earnings tax.

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