Kansas cuts taxes for CPAs - and cuts aid for kids

The economic development border war continued this week, as Kansas handed out tax incentives to lure a Kansas City certified public accounting firm to Leawood.

That’s right: More tax breaks for CPAs - in a state that last year killed a food sales tax refund that benefited single parents and eliminated the child and dependent care credit claimed by people responsible for disabled dependents and spouses.

The offices of Meara Welch Browne are moving from the Country Club Plaza to near State Line Road, just a few miles essentially.

Why? Because Kansas - led by Gov. Sam Brownback - has eliminated the 6 percent personal income tax on profits earned at so-called pass-through businesses.

Let John Meara, a principal at the firm, explain it.

“I think there could be a mass migration to Kansas if Missouri doesn’t do anything about it,” Meara said. “Twenty-two people have been provided huge incentives to move and once we get there, all the profits are not taxed by Kansas.”

The well-off CPAs will get the spoils, even as the state of Kansas has to pay for those spoils in some way.

That was what necessitated part of last year’s cutbacks on aid for poor people.

And don’t forget: Because Meara’s firm won’t be paying taxes, others will, but they won’t be paying enough to keep all of the state’s current services.

Projections show that Kansas will have to cut hundreds of millions of dollars in the state budget in future years. So schools, social services and other services in Kansas could be drained of precious revenue.

Too bad for them.