Yael T. Abouhalkah

Alarming new report: Sam Brownback’s policies blew $258 million hole in income tax revenue

Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback seems to have a “what, me worry?” attitude about the plunge of income tax revenues in his state
Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback seems to have a “what, me worry?” attitude about the plunge of income tax revenues in his state The Associated Press

Just in time for Election Day, Kansans have learned alarming new information about how Gov. Sam Brownback’s tax cuts are stripping funds from the state budget.

The takeaway point: Individual income tax revenues for the first four months of the current fiscal year were a staggering $258 million less than they were in a similar period in Brownback’s second year in office in 2012. That’s according to new figures from the Department of Revenue.

That’s a steep fall of almost 28 percent.

Basically, the bottom has fallen out of individual income tax revenues since the cuts took effect in January of 2013. That is extremely bad news for anyone who wants the state to have the revenue needed to provide high quality services, especially in public education.

If Brownback is re-elected Tuesday, he has brazenly promised to keep the tax cuts coming. That would further jeopardize state services in the future, when budgets will have to be slashed become of inadequate revenue.

Kansas needs new leadership with the election of Paul Davis on Tuesday.

Here are the state’s own numbers showing exactly what has happened.

▪ In 2011, the state had collected $901 million in individual income tax revenues during the first four months of the fiscal year (July through October).

▪ In 2012, the state had collected $936 million in individual income taxes.

So far, so good. But then the tax cuts took effect.

▪ In 2013, Kansas had collected only $762 million in individual income taxes from July through October.

▪ In 2014, income tax revenue fell sharply again, down to $678 million.

That loss of $258 million in income tax funds since 2012 helps explain why Kansas on Oct. 31 had collected $216 million less in total revenue through the first four months of this year than it had done in a similar period in 2012.

Meanwhile, Kansas has not gained nearly enough jobs to make up for the economic losses created by the income tax cuts.

Oust Brownback from office before Kansas loses even more of its ability to provide good services to its residents.

To reach editorial page columnist Yael T. Abouhalkah, call 816-234-4887 or send email to abouhalkah@kcstar.com. Twitter @YaelTAbouhalkah.

  Comments