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KS: Tax loads are 22nd heaviest in U.S., researchers say

By   /   October 23, 2012  /   No Comments

By Gene Meyer | Kansas Reporter

TAX BURDEN: Kansas’ tax load hit its highest point in national rankings since at least 1995, Tax Foundation researchers said Tuesday.

FAIRWAY — Kansans’ tax burdens increased in 2010 — the 22nd heaviest in nation — according to a national survey released Tuesday.

It’s Kansas’ worst showing on that report since at least 1995.

“The report shows why it is important to set our state on a new trajectory — one that will encourage economic growth and create jobs,” said Sherriene Jones-Sontag, communications director for Gov. Sam Brownback. 

Brownback and state legislators passed a tax cut package in May that they insist will do just that.

But Scott Drenkard, an economist who worked on the report, said whether those new state tax cuts in January will help improve the economy is uncertain.

The Tax Foundation, a nonpartisan tax policy research group in Washington. D.C., calculated in its survey that state and local Kansas tax collections totaled $3,802 for every man, woman and child in the state, or 9.7 percent of their per-capita income.

Residents of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut carried the highest burdens with tax loads of more than 12 percent.

Alaska, South Dakota and Tennessee residents carried the lightest loads, paying 7.7 percent or less.

The numbers don’t reflect what Kansans will pay after January, when some lower tax rates, increased tax credits and the elimination of many small business taxes kick in, Drenkard said.

“The tax cuts will have some effect, but it is too soon to speculate exactly how they might affect the standings,” he said.

Meantime, the promise of Kansas tax breaks hasn’t yet spurred small businesses to invest in their future expansions, said Dan Murray, state director of the National Federation of Independent Business, the nation’s largest advocate for small business owners.

NFIB surveys show small businesses are in a maintenance mode, and postponing hiring or investment until after the election when they hope the future course of U.S. tax policies will be clearer, Murray said.

Contact Gene Meyer at gene.meyer@kansaswatchdog.org.

 

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Gene Meyer