The mantra from Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback in 2012 was music to the ears of business leaders in Johnson County.
He pledged that his steep income tax cuts, geared toward high earners, would bring a flood of jobs over the state line from Missouri.
But new figures released Tuesday show that — yet again — the tax reductions put in place in 2013 have failed to bring any kind of great employment growth to Johnson or Wyandotte counties.
In fact, the Missouri side of the Kansas City area grew four times faster over the last year, according to data from the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics.
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By the numbers:
▪ The Missouri side of the region added 8,400 workers on nonfarm payrolls between November 2013 and November 2014, not seasonally adjusted.
That’s a growth rate of 1.5 percent.
▪ The Kansas side of the region — dominated by Johnson County — gained only 1,900 employees in that one-year span.
That’s a growth rate of .4 percent.
Overall, the metropolitan region grew a paltry 1 percent. Sadly, our area over the last several years has trailed the rest of the United States when it comes to employment gains.
And today’s bad jobs-related news for Brownback and Johnson County continues the string of reports that show the Kansas tax cuts have not been a boost for growth in that state, as I noted a few months ago.
The governor and other true believers need to acknowledge the obvious: Simply slashing taxes is not the way to woo people to Kansas, and especially to Johnson County, where people expect good services for their tax dollars.