This week, the legislature joined us again in Topeka to close out the legislative session. The Governor’s budget and tax plan will be the centerpiece of discussion. As media coverage swirls around these topics, we want to help you better understand the issues by equipping you with facts about our growing and healthy Kansas economy.
While those on the left dominate discussion with claims that the Kansas economy is weak, that our tax policy is unfair, and that Kansas is losing jobs and businesses, the reality is that such claims are emotional, incendiary, and largely false.
Here is the economic truth:
– Between January 2011 and February 2015, Kansas added almost 75,000 private sector jobs.
– We have one of the highest employment-to-population ratios in America.
– We are approaching historically low unemployment rates, which can help low income workers find a way out of poverty at record rates.
The Governor has worked tirelessly to create a Kansas tax environment that fosters growth amongst the state’s leading job-creators: small businesses. As a result of this work, our Kansas small businesses are now growing by a faster percentage than all of our bordering states and the national average. This is critical, as most Kansans work for small business. In tax year 2013, more than 8,600 first-time small business filers brought more than $486 million in new income to the state.
Our old tax system punished entrepreneurs and savers alike, resulting in slow job growth and limited economic opportunity. Lowering income tax burdens and transitioning to consumption taxes allows for economic growth and more opportunity for every Kansan. Under this policy, Kansans are getting higher paying jobs, and have more control over how they spend their money.
Some claim our state’s income tax structure and rates are unfair to middle and low-income families. The truth? 91 percent of Kansas heads-of-households making less than $25,000 pay no state income taxes. For those making less than $50,000 per year, 63 percent pay no state income taxes. At the same time, real income for all Kansans has grown – resulting in higher-paying jobs for more people. The median income in Kansas grew by more than $2,000 between 2011 and 2013. Additionally, Kansas has a refundable Earned Income Tax Credit, one of the highest of its kind in the nation, that offsets the tax liability of many low income Kansans. The income tax reductions enacted in 2012, benefitted working Kansans through significant rate reductions that allowed them to keep more of their own money to spend, save or invest as they chose.
This morning, the Governor discussed these tax policies and the budget on the Joseph Ashby Show. You can listen to the podcast here: http://bit.ly/1AhctiQ