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KANSAS FEDERATION FIRST VICE PRESIDENT'S REPORTS

Subject: Legislative Contact Report

Tuesday 19 February 2013 was a very busy day.

 

First I went to the Johnson County Republican Party Elephant Club lunch at the Hereford House Restaurant in Leawood, KS and listened to a presentation by Mr. Nick Jordan the Kansas State Treasurer on the Governors' tax plan. Here is a link to a you tube video clip of the first 5 minutes of the presentation. ( http://youtu.be/vrmv_e3SEg4 ). Mr. Jordan also provided a hand out that had more information and some charts on what the plan would affect in local median family income terms (attached). While I can agree with the intent of the plan to grow business in Kansas and that they are trying to become more competitive with other area states to lure more businesses to Kansas, I still have reservations about the plan. Only some 40 percent of businesses and C Corporations in Kansas actually pay any income tax. But by eliminating that portion of revenue it has to be made up somewhere else. Also with the elimination of deductions from the personal income tax they are bringing in more people on the lower end of the earnings scale into the tax structure. He stated that only about 30% of filers actual itemize on deductions, most just take the standard deduction. Even though they lower the tax rate they are now adding more people from the lower end of the income scale to the tax structure who would not be paying any income tax with some of those deductions and those at the higher end of the income scale will get the bigger tax break. Right now the state sales tax brings in about $2.5 Billion and the personal income tax brings in about $2.9 Billion a year. If you could eliminate the personal income tax you would have to either double the sales tax or double the amount of business and sales activity in the state to make up the $2.9 Billion lost from the elimination of the income tax. They want to hold the sales tax steady and make up the difference through business activity growth in the state. While that sounds good, the bottom line is that their computer modeling and simulations tell them they will not be able to eliminate the income tax any time soon. It probably would not happen during the Governor's term even if he got re-elected to another term. There just isn't enough other revenue available without increasing some other tax to make it happen. Another part of this proposed change is to take the things like tax credits for the lower income people out of the tax structure. Not that they do not deserve to be funded but many of the experts they have been reading about and talking with indicate that it is best to fund those separately outside of the tax structure.

 

Tuesday afternoon Elizabeth and I went to a joint town hall meeting held by Congressman Kevin Yoder, Senator Jerry Moran and Senator Pat Roberts in the Olathe, Kansas City Council Chambers. There was a crowd of about 150+ people there. If you can stream video, then follow this link and you can see the video of the meeting. It was recorded on the cities' cable channel station and is archived for anyone to view. Here is the link (http://olathe.premierstudios.com/archive/legth130219.wmv ). I encourage everyone to view the video to get the feel and temperament of the meeting and the crowd. Many different issues were covered and included; getting back to the standard process of how appropriations and authorizations in the legislature is supposed to work, elder services, energy policy and tax breaks for all sectors of energy, the president's use of executive order bypassing the legislature, the constitution, and the possibility of impeachment, the war of the rich and affluent versus the poor, sequestration, immigration, federal funding to support child and family services in Kansas when Kansas is the number one state for taking kids from families and not returning them because the contractors working the system are making millions off the whole program including foster care. A key thing you should pick up on from the video is the almost cheer that comes from many in the crowd when Senator Roberts talks about sequestration and the idea of just shutting the government down is mentioned. That is frightening. So many people do not have a clue as to what all will be affected if the government shuts down or if significant furloughs of government employees occurs. To Senator Roberts credit he does state that shutting the government down is not a good idea and gives a simple story that says why it was not good when it happened in 1995 and he voted for it. He will not vote for it again.

 

While most of Kansas is snowed in this weekend it might be a good time for us to contact our Senators and Congressmen and let them know what areas we worked in that, if shut down, or significant furloughs occur, will directly affect the people, economy, and function of the nation.

 

 

Louis Bornman

National Legislative Chair and Area 1 Vice President

Kansas Federation of Chapters

National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association

 

 

 

 

 

 

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