STUDY: Kansas GOP’s Tax Cut For The Rich Will Hurt Children, The Poor

Gov. Sam Brownback (R-KS)

The tax cut package recently passed by Kansas Republicans and signed into law by Gov. Sam Brownback (R) will lower taxes for the rich while creating a budget shortfall that will harm poor Kansans and children, according to a local advocacy group’s latest report.

Kansas Action For Children said the $2.5 billion shortfall caused by Brownback’s tax cut plan, which was too radical even for some members of his own party, will cause cuts to “core services” that help the poor and children, even as Brownback insists it won’t, the Lawrence Journal World reports:

Kansas Action for Children stated the cuts will reduce revenues for necessary state services, increase taxes on the lowest-income Kansans, and incent businesses to reorganize to avoid paying state income taxes.

Ultimately, the package of tax changes enacted by lawmakers will negatively impact Kansas children and families in a number of ways,” the group said in its report. […]

The group notes that legislative staff have said the state budget will face a cumulative $2.5 billion shortfall of revenue, equal to 37.4 percent of the state general fund budget. Brownback has said “core services” will be protected but Kansas Action for Children said “it is difficult to envision a scenario where core services are not negatively impacted.”

Brownback’s plan eliminated a food tax break for low-income Kansans and other tax credits that benefit children and the poor, all to give the wealthiest Kansans more than $20,000 per year in tax breaks. Taxes on the poorest residents will go up nearly $150 a year, according to the Institution on Taxation and Economic Policy.

The plan is likely to cause cuts to education and other social services that help the poor, even though Brownback and the Republicans who voted for it insist it will actually stimulate the economy and drive job growth. That is unlikely though, as another study published this week found that high-income tax cuts don’t stimulate the economy.