Editorials

Gov. Sam Brownback and his staff must stop trying to fool Kansans on tax cuts

Individual income tax collections in the first two months of the fiscal year are way down in Kansas.
Individual income tax collections in the first two months of the fiscal year are way down in Kansas.

New figures indicate Kansas’ radical income tax cuts still are reducing revenue expected to help provide public services.

In August, individual income tax revenue was $11.1 million below budget estimates, or a full 6 percent lower than predicted.

That’s a sobering detail you won’t hear from Gov. Sam Brownback or his staff. They continue to promote the myth that tax cuts will bring in more money — ignoring the reality that Kansas’ budget ended the last fiscal year $300 million below expectations.

State officials again undermined their credibility after the August numbers were released.

In a statement, the Department of Revenue didn’t report the $11.1 million shortfall in income tax receipts. Instead, it opted to say August revenue had been $10.3 million higher than in the same month in 2013, “an indication that either more Kansans are working or they are earning higher wages.”

That was extremely misleading. The agency didn’t acknowledge the fact that income tax revenue in July had been an alarming $15.5 million lower than it had been in July 2013. So for the first two months of the new fiscal year, the state actually had collected $5 million less in those taxes than it did in the last year.

To paraphrase the Department of Revenue’s logic, that must mean either fewer Kansans are working or they are earning lower wages. Right, Gov. Brownback?

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