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Brookens crunches tax numbers

Rep., 70th District

We’ve been fed numbers from those supporting a “march to zero” on the income tax, suggesting it is essential for Kansas’ economic growth. Here’s a host of facts for you to digest this week that seem to suggest otherwise. You can decide for yourself how Kansas compares with other states in a number of categories.

How Kansas compares with the no-income-tax states in economic growth — this shows the change in real per-capita gross domestic product from 1997 to 2009: Kansas, 18.8 percent; Alaska, 5.4; Florida, 13.5; Nevada, 1.6; New Hampshire, 20.5; South Dakota, 47.6; Tennessee, 5.1; Texas, 12.6; Washington, 16.5; and Wyoming, 52.2.

Residential real estate taxes per $1,000 of home value, compared to neighbors: Texas, $18.08; Nebraska, 17.55; Kansas, 12.95; Missouri, 9.06; Oklahoma, 7.39; and Colorado, 6.04.

Property taxes for 2011 as a percent of gross domestic product: Colorado, 5.24 percent; Missouri, 5.33; Nebraska, 5.02; Oklahoma, 5.87; Kansas, 6.21; and Texas, 6.67.

Share of total state/local tax revenue coming from property taxes in 2007 (10 worst): New Hampshire, 61.3 percent; Vermont, 42.1; New Jersey, 41.7; Texas, 41.6; Rhode Island, 41.1; Michigan, 39.3; Connecticut, 38.2; Illinois, 37.1; Florida, 36.8; and Wyoming, 36.8 … compared to Kansas, 30.5 — we’re not on “the list,” although in 2011, Kansas trended up to 32.38 percent.

Projected state budget shortfall for Fiscal Year 2013: Florida, 8.4 percent; Kansas, 0; Nevada, 37; New Hampshire, 20; Texas, 20.4; and Washington, 22.2.

Share of state budget coming from federal dollars — how dependent are states? — researched state-by-state: Florida, 41.4 percent; Tennessee, 38.0; Texas, 40.8; Kansas, 27.7; and Washington, 23.6.

Compare Kansas with neighbors: 2011 property tax rankings (1=best, 50=worst): Kansas, 41; Colorado, 15; Missouri, 11; Nebraska, 24; Oklahoma, 27; and Texas, 29.

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rates, December 2011: Kansas, 6.3 percent; Alaska, 7.3; Florida, 9.9; Nevada, 12.6; New Hampshire, 5.1; South Dakota, 4.2; Tennessee, 8.7; Texas, 7.8; Washington, 8.5; and Wyoming, 5.8.

Compare the total business tax burden: 2011 corporate tax index rankings (50=worst): Kansas, 35; Colorado, 12; Missouri, 5; Nebraska, 34; Oklahoma, 7; and Texas, 46.

My quick takeaways from all this? 1: Eliminating state income tax is no guarantee of economic growth, full employment, balanced budget, or stable revenue stream. 2: States without income tax need/have other sources of income, and no income tax won’t relieve the property tax burden. 3: Income tax is not the only tax businesses have to contend with. And 4: The next time someone tells you that Kansas needs to emulate Texas, tell them they’re nuts … or simply say “No thanks.”

My sources for these statistics were, “Dispelling the Myth”, by Tom Kruekemneyer as part of The Missouri Budget Project; a feport from the National Association of Home Builders; http://www.usgovernmentrevenue.com/compare_state_ad_valorem_taxes; the Tax Foundation (most current available information); Center for Budget and Policy Priorities report; and U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

You may email me at: Brookens70@sbcglobal.net or write me at either 201 Meadow Lane, Marion, KS 66861 or Kansas State Capitol Building, 300 SW 10th, Topeka, KS 66612; or call me at (620) 382-2133 or (785) 296-7636. If you want the entire link for a source, just let me know.

Last modified Feb. 22, 2012

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