Taxation

Tax collections by the states

Tax collections by the states

Kansas state government collects more tax revenue than most surrounding states. Additionally, severance taxes are a minor contribution to collections, even in Texas. Note: this visualization has been updated. Click here for the most recent version. The United States Census Bureau conducts an Annual Survey of State Government Tax Collections. It's useful to gather figures for Kansas and some nearby states. The data considers only tax collections by state government. It does not include cities, counties, school districts, or the many other taxing jurisdictions that states may have formed. I have computed this data on a per-person basis. Data is…
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Wichita property taxes compared

Wichita property taxes compared

An ongoing study reveals that generally, property taxes on commercial and industrial property in Wichita are high. In particular, taxes on commercial property in Wichita are among the highest in the nation. The study is produced by Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Minnesota Center for Fiscal Excellence. It's titled "50 State Property Tax Comparison Study, March 2014" and may be read here. It uses a variety of residential, apartment, commercial, and industrial property scenarios to analyze the nature of property taxation across the country. I've gathered data from selected tables for Wichita. A pdf version of the table is…
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The relevance of income tax rates

The relevance of income tax rates

Jim Pinkerton, the journalist, Fox News contributor, and co-founder of the RATE (Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably) Coalition told an audience this: "The purpose of high taxes on the rich is not to get the rich to pay money, it's to get the middle class to feel better about paying high taxes." Pinkerton was speaking last week at a conference titled "The Tax & Regulatory Impact on Industry, Jobs & The Economy, and Consumers" produced by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. His remarks, as he told the conference attendees, were based on the work of economist F.A. Hayek.…
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The purpose of high tax rates on the rich

The purpose of high tax rates on the rich

"The purpose of high taxes on the rich is not to get the rich to pay money, it's to get the middle class to feel better about paying high taxes." This is what Jim Pinkerton, the journalist, Fox News contributor, and co-founder of the RATE (Reforming America’s Taxes Equitably) Coalition told an audience at a conference titled "The Tax & Regulatory Impact on Industry, Jobs & The Economy, and Consumers" produced by the Franklin Center for Government and Public Integrity. Pinkerton was referring to the economist F.A. Hayek. Others have also noted that changes to marginal tax rates often have…
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Federal grants seen to increase future local spending

"Nothing is so permanent as a temporary government program." -- Nobel Laureate Milton Friedman Is this true? Do federal grants cause state and/or local tax increases in the future after the government grant ends? Economists Russell S. Sobel and George R. Crowley have examined the evidence, and they find the answer is yes. This paper is especially important as south-central Kansas starts a comprehensive planning process under a HUD Sustainable Communities Regional Planning Grant -- a federal grant. Some officials have justified their votes in favor of the planning grant because the grant is "just for planning purposes." It does…
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Part of Kansas tax law has something for everyone

The just-signed Kansas tax bill contains a future provision that, based on recent research, may satisfy everyone. As described by Kansas Legislative Research: Future formulaic income tax rate relief could be provided under certain circumstances, beginning as early as tax year 2019, based on the extent to which a specified group of SGF tax sources has increased over the previous fiscal year. Generally, rate relief will be triggered under the formula once that group of taxes exceeds the previous fiscal year’s levels (beginning with FY 2018 growth over FY 2017) by 2 percent or more. What will happen -- may…
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Derby forms a TIF district

The city of Derby, Kansas has formed a tax increment financing (TIF) district. TIF is a method of diverting the normal flow of property tax revenue so that it benefits private interests rather than the public treasury. In Kansas, cities form TIF districts. Then, any affected county and school district may vote to veto its formation. They have 30 days to do this. If they take no action, they lose their ability to veto, and the TIF district is created. The Sedgwick County Commission will consider whether to veto the formation of this TIF district next Wednesday. Here are documents…
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Tax burden in the states

As Kansas debates tax reform, and as our state is frequently compared to Texas, we should take a look at the two states and their taxes. Texas has no income tax. Supporters of keeping Kansas income tax rates high say that Texas has high property taxes in order to "pay for" the zero income tax rate. It's true that property tax rates in Texas are higher than in Kansas, according to 50-State Property Tax Comparison Study from Minnesota Taxpayers Association. But what's not often mentioned is that Texas state and local governments collect less tax from their citizens, compared to…
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State and local tax burden visualized

For two decades the Tax Foundation has estimated the combined state and local tax burden for all the states. I've created an interactive visualization that lets you compare states and see trends in rank over time. In its publication, the Tax Foundation explains: For each state, we compute this measure of tax burden by totaling the amount of state and local taxes paid by state residents to both their own and other governments and then divide these totals by each state’s total income. We not only make this calculation for the most recent year, but also for earlier years due…
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