Taxation

Increase our awareness of taxes

Writing from Miami, Florida As the annual tax deadline is upon us, we should take a moment to examine our level of awareness of the taxes we pay. Many families don't pay any federal income tax. According to a study by the Tax Foundation (link: http://www.taxfoundation.org/ff/zerotaxfilers.html) 58 million households, representing some 122 million people, of 44 percent of the U.S. population, pay no federal income tax. I made a few calculations, and Kiplinger's TaxCut software for 2004 shows that a family with two children and $40,000 income (that's approximately the median household income in Wichita), taking the standard deductions, pays…
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Tax increment financing in Iowa

Writing from Cedar Rapids, Iowa Readers of The Voice For Liberty in Wichita are well aware that I believe that when the government provides subsidies to businesses -- either in the form of cash payments or preferential tax treatment -- we create a corrosive business environment. Government picks winners and losers for political reasons, rather than letting the market decide which companies are doing a good job. Government also spends money inefficiently. Instead of letting the market decide where to best allocate capital, government chooses who receives capital taken from the people through taxation according to the whims of politicians…
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The decline In Kansas continues

The Decline In Kansas Continues By Karl Peterjohn, Executive Director Kansas Taxpayers Network January 17, 2006 The relative decline of Kansas continues. This decline is vividly demonstrated when state and federal revenue growth is examined. Total federal revenues grew 13.9 percent last year to total $2.142 trillion dollars. This was an increase in federal revenues of $262 billion. This increase was almost twice the percentage rate of growth of Kansas state revenues that grew only 7.1 percent or $322 million in fiscal year 2005 that ended June 30, 2005. The federal revenue figures are for the fiscal year that ended…
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Hypocrisy over oil profits abounds

Writing from Orlando, Florida The recent swell of criticism over oil company "windfall" profits, some even coming from people who should know better, is truly remarkable in its hypocrisy. It seems that the critics feel that oil companies did nothing extraordinary to earn these profits. Therefore, they don't deserve them. What's wrong with this criticism? First, I don't think we want to let the government get in the position of deciding who deserves to keep the profits they earn. It does enough of this already. Second, most people would be delighted to find themselves in the position of the oil…
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Kansas Income Growth Lags

By Karl Peterjohn You will earn more if you do not work in Kansas. That is nothing new but the size and scope of the economic problem facing Kansans has become more vivid. National data has regularly shown that Kansans' incomes are lower than the national average and this is impacting the economic climate in this state. In September, Wichita State University's Center for Economic Development and Business Research issued a report showing how badly Kansas lagged with the fastest and slowest growing parts of the United States. In this report Kansas vividly contrasted with fast growing Colorado in all…
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Local economic development in Wichita

Writing from Memphis, Tennessee Today's Wichita Eagle (November 5, 2005) tells us of a new economic development package that our local governments have given to induce a call center to locate in Wichita. The deal is described as "one of the biggest the two-year-old economic development coalition [Greater Wichita Economic Development Coalition] has landed." There is an interesting academic paper titled "The Failures of Economic Development Incentives," published in Journal of the American Planning Association, and which can be read here: www.planning.org/japa/pdf/04winterecondev.pdf. A few quotes from the study: Given the weak effects of incentives on the location choices of businesses…
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Tax reform and simplification

Writing from Orlando, Florida Two recent Wall Street Journal articles ("A Golden Opportunity" in the November 1, 2005 issue, and "Triple Jeopardy" in the November 2, 2005 issue) make the case for simplification and reform of our current income tax system. In these articles we learn these things: "... true reform -- changing to a broad-based income or consumption levy that taxes income only once -- could yield once-and-for-all annual household income gains of 9%." Our tax system has a bias against saving and investment. That slows capital formation and wage growth. "It is the marginal tax rate -- the…
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Taxpayer Bill Of Rights (TABOR) eviscerated

By Karl Peterjohn Governor Bill Owens won a Pyrrhic victory in his campaign to eliminate the Taxpayers Bill Of Rights (TABOR) limits on government growth in Colorado. Owens' short lived Proposition C victory will lead to a host of long term consequences that are mainly negative for Coloradans looking for a better economic future for themselves and their families. Passage of Proposition C is huge defeat for economic freedom across the country and a setback for fiscal responsibility. The passage of Proposition C will mark a key political and public policy turning point that ends Owens' career as a fiscally…
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Reports of TABOR’s Demise Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

by Alan Cobb The supporters of Big Government were overjoyed this week when 52 percent of Colorado voters backed an effort to fix a glitch in that state's hugely successful Taxpayer's Bill of Rights by allowing the state government to keep an estimated $3.7 billion in scheduled tax relief over the next five years. This vote, they claimed, was a sign that the voters of Colorado had rejected their Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, and that taxpayers across the nation should consider the Colorado vote a reason to oppose similar tax-and-spending limits in their own states. On the contrary, what Coloradoans…
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How About Something Simple Like the Truth

How About Something Simple Like the Truth Alan Cobb, Americans For Prosperity, Kansas I had a great time visiting 23 cities across Kansas last week to promote the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR). The number of supporters vastly outnumbered the opponents, but both sides had more folks come out than I ever imagined. During the tour, several things became clear. While TABOR supporters offer hope and solutions to getting out of our economic slump, opponents offer nothing but nay-saying, scare tactics and misinformation. In fact, the flagrantly dishonest information being spread is simply breathtaking. Let's remember all the Taxpayer's Bill…
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