Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback (R), like Republican governors all across the country, aims to implement a regressive tax plan that involves cutting income taxes for the rich while, in his case, maintaining a sales tax hike that primarily hurts the poor. The sales tax increase was supposed to be temporary when it was adopted in 2010, but Brownback now wants to make permanent.
Sales taxes disproportionately impact the poor, who are more likely to spend all or most of their income. According to an analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy, Brownback’s plan will raise taxes on the poorest Kansans, but still lose hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue due to huge tax cuts for the rich:
— The poorest 20 percent of Kansas taxpayers would pay 0.2 percent more of their income in taxes each year, or an average increase of $22.
— The middle 20 percent of Kansas taxpayers would pay 0.2 percent less of their income in taxes each year, or an average cut of $104.
— Upper-income families, by contrast, reap the greatest benefit with the richest one percent of Kansans, those with an average income of over a million dollars, saving an average of $6,528 a year.
The plan would cost the state $340 million in revenue, despite hiking taxes the poor. And Kansas already has a regressive tax system, with the poorest residents paying a rate more than twice as high as the richest 1 percent.