The Kansas ex­per­i­ment

The Week (US) - - News 11 -

Kansas Repub­li­cans em­barked on what Gov. Sam Brown­back called a “real-live ex­per­i­ment” in 2012.The plan elim­i­nated state in­come taxes al­to­gether for so-called pass-through en­ti­ties— com­pa­nies fil­ing their taxes as in­di­vid­u­als. Brown­back and oth­ers ar­gued that the tax cuts would pay for them­selves by gen­er­at­ing mas­sive eco­nomic growth, ul­ti­mately al­low­ing the state to abol­ish the in­come tax al­to­gether. But that growth never ma­te­ri­al­ized, and Kansas now faces an $889 mil­lion bud­get short­fall over the next two years.The state has been forced to make deep, un­pop­u­lar cuts to pub­lic ed­u­ca­tion, so­cial ser­vices, and even high­way re­pairs, while its credit rat­ing has been down­graded. A coali­tion of Repub­li­cans and Democrats re­versed most of the tax cuts this year, over­rid­ing Brown­back’s veto. With many of the same econ­o­mists who ad­vised Brown­back work­ing with the na­tional GOP on its tax plan, some Kansas Repub­li­cans are warn­ing Congress not to as­sume tax cuts will pay for them­selves. “That won’t work, so you bet­ter learn our les­son,” said state Sen. Bar­bara Bol­lier.

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