Saturday, October 25, 2014

Brownback blames Obama for big Kansas tax shortfall

By The Herald Staff | 4/30/2014

TOPEKA — April’s tax receipts for Kansas have seen a 45-percent decline over 2013, Gov. Sam Brownback said Wednesday, and President Obama is to blame.

“What we are seeing today is the effect of tax increases implemented by the Obama administration that resulted in lower income tax payments and a depressed business environment,” Brownback said. “Many taxpayers took advantage of capital gains and other income in the 2012 tax year to take advantage of favorable tax rates set to expire Jan. 1, 2013. The failed economic policies of the Obama administration are affecting states throughout the nation. It is more important than ever that we continue our focus on growing jobs and creating a business-friendly environment that benefits Kansans.

TOPEKA — April’s tax receipts for Kansas have seen a 45-percent decline over 2013, Gov. Sam Brownback said Wednesday, and President Obama is to blame.

“What we are seeing today is the effect of tax increases implemented by the Obama administration that resulted in lower income tax payments and a depressed business environment,” Brownback said. “Many taxpayers took advantage of capital gains and other income in the 2012 tax year to take advantage of favorable tax rates set to expire Jan. 1, 2013. The failed economic policies of the Obama administration are affecting states throughout the nation. It is more important than ever that we continue our focus on growing jobs and creating a business-friendly environment that benefits Kansans.

“Our pro-growth economic policies have resulted in one of the lowest unemployment rates in the nation and the creation of more than 50,000 new jobs since January 2011.”

Tax receipts for April are about 45 percent below April 2013, according to the Kansas Department of Revenue. April 2013 balance due receipts increased from the previous year by about 53 percent, because of taxpayers realizing capital gains and other income in tax year 2012 to take advantage of more favorable federal tax rates set to expire Jan. 1, 2013, the agency said. The reduction in the revenue numbers reflects a first quarter 2014 gross domestic product that was lower than anticipated at the national level, at 0.1 percent.

“This is an undeniable result of President Obama’s failed economic policies of increasing taxes and over-regulation,” Nick Jordan, Kansas revenue secretary, said. “Our state coffers are seeing the effect of poor policy decisions at the federal level which have seen a 7.6 percent drop in exports and a slow rate of inventory replenishment.”

Revenue tax receipts for the fiscal year to date fell $92.8 million short of the revenue estimates, or 2 percent. Because the consensus revenue estimating group just recalculated estimates in April, the fiscal year to date figure and the monthly revenue receipt number are identical.

The state economy relies on export goods, including agriculture and airline products, the department or revenue said, and when those industries are down, it hurts the state. The April revenue report is the slowest growth recorded since the last quarter of 2012 and has affected other parts of the country, including Michigan, 42.6 percent decrease; Wisconsin, 31 percent; Pennsylvania, 26.5 percent; and Vermont, 11.9 percent.

While Brownback and company blamed Obama, the likely Democratic nominee to challenge Brownback’s in this year’s general election, House Minority Leader Paul Davis, D-Lawrence, blamed the revenue report on Brownback’s tax plan.

“The April revenue numbers are further proof that the Brownback tax plan is failing,” Davis said. “The governor’s experiment continues to harm our ability to support our schools and invest in our state’s future. Kansans want a governor who takes responsibility for his policies, not one who spins the numbers and blames others for his failed experiment.”

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