If the Kansas economy were booming, and the governor had a scintilla of fiscal credibility, then the appeal to boost the impoverished pockets of Kansas City, Kan., and Wichita would make a lot of sense.
But the economy in the Sunflower State is parched from tax cuts that have withered the state budget beyond belief, and Gov. Sam Brownback is hellbent on taking the state, all of its residents and businesses further down his ruinous path. So it makes no sense that Brownback wants to give tax breaks and pay off student loans for people who move from other states into Kansas City, Kan., or Wichita’s hardscrabble urban cores.
In Kansas City, Kan., Brownback during his re-election campaign pointed to five ZIP codes east of Interstate 635, The Kansas City Star reports. There is zero doubt that those neighborhoods have suffered from decades of neglect and blight.
However, the polite response to Brownback from people in the targeted two cities should be “No thank you!” The not so polite response could be: “Doesn’t Kansas have enough problems without more giveaways? Aren’t Republicans supposed to be against such things? Who would dare consider moving to Kansas now with the state budget in shambles with roads soon to follow and financing being decimated for public schools and other services?”
Yet, Brownback is trying to push a program on the struggling urban cores that has been marginal at best in efforts to attract people to rural Kansas. It waives state income taxes for people who move from out of state into any of 77 counties labeled rural opportunity zones and promises to pay off up to $15,000 in student loans of people who relocate to one of the designated communities.
If the mayors of Kansas City, Kan., and Wichita don’t reject the proposal, the residents and businesses should just say no to Brownback‘s public relations ploy. The state can’t afford any more of Brownback’s handouts.