Soutar cites a KAC report: “The long-term solution to avoid increasing budget gaps is to update and modernize the Kansas tax system in a way that accurately reflects the current economy and generates sufficient revenues for state funding needs.”
This guarded language is similar to that issued by the Kansas National Education Association (KNEA, the teachers union). A recent communique to its members contained this: “You see, the Kansas revenue system has something that tax folks call a ‘structural deficit.’ Structural deficits result when spending increases outpace revenue collections. … When the revenue system is not structured to keep up with the cost drivers, you get a structural deficit. You can cut your way out of it temporarily but unless you address the revenue system, eventually the deficit will return. … To get Kansas out of this mess, the legislature simply must modernize the Kansas tax system! … It is long past time to overhaul the Kansas tax system.”
Modernize. It’s something everyone can agree on — until you realize that the goal of this modernization is to increase the revenue flowing to the state. Rarely is cutting spending or programs considered. Instead, more tax revenue is the solution.
According to Soutar’s reporting, Gary Brunk, president of Kansas Action for Children, said that there are programs that are “ineffective and should be defunded.” But not his program, of course: “I don’t think that process would reduce our need for funding though.”
I’ll bet the heads of all programs in Kansas feel that way.
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Kansas Action for Children Calls for Tax Increase – Paul Soutar – Flint Hills Center