Kansas and Wichita quick takes: Monday March 14, 2011

Kansas Democrats: EITC cut is a tax increase. In this week’s Democratic legislative update recorded by Kansas House of Representatives Minority Leader Paul Davis, the distinction between welfare and taxes became muddled. Referring to HB 2347, proposal to cut the Kansas Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), Davis said that Kansas House Republicans had “come forward with proposals to increase taxes on the working poor.” He called the proposal “a $60 million tax increase for the working poor.” … The EITC program at both federal and state levels is a program that spends money through the tax system. Sometimes called tax appropriations, these are economically equivalent to grants of money, both for government (whose tax revenues are reduced) and for the recipient (who receives a dollar-for-dollar reduction in tax liability, or in the case of the refundable EITC credit, a payment). … Whether or not you agree with this form of welfare, the proper way for Davis to have framed the debate is as a reduction in welfare payments for low-income people, not an increase in their taxes.

Historian to visit Wichita. This week historian Gregory Schneider will speak in Wichita at two events. Schneider, of Topeka, is professor of history at Emporia State University. His most recent book is The Conservative Century: From Reaction to Revolution (Critical Issues in American History). … On Thursday (March 17th) Schneider will speak on the topic “The Conservative Century Revisited,” based on a Bradley Lecture that Dr. Schneider presented at the American Enterprise Institute for Public Policy in October 2010. This event is sponsored by the Wichita chapter of Americans for Prosperity, Kansas. It will be from 7:00 pm to 8:30 pm at the Wichita Downtown Public Library at 223 S. Main, in the third floor meeting room. For more information on this event contact John Todd at john@johntodd.net or 316-312-7335, or Susan Estes, AFP Field Director at sestes@afphq.org or 316-681-4415. … Then on Friday (March 18th) Schneider will speak at the Wichita Pachyderm Club on the topic “Requiem for a Railroad: The Collapse of the Rock Island,” which is the topic of a book he is currently writing. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend Wichita Pachyderm meetings. For more information click on Wichita Pachyderm Club.

Kansas parents’ property tax challenge is dismissed. From Kansas Reporter: “A small group of parents of children in Johnson County’s Shawnee Mission Unified School District 512 filed a federal suit in December contending that lids Kansas places on property taxes for education essentially discriminate against schools in wealthier districts by holding spending to lower levels nearer those that less affluent districts can afford. U.S. District Judge John Lungstrum dismissed the suit Friday, ruling that the parents lacked sufficient authority to bring such a suit because the district ‘has no inherent or statutory authority outside the statutory funding scheme to impose a local tax to benefit the district.'” … ‘We won and the people of Kansas won,’ Robb [John Robb, chief counsel for Schools for Fair Funding] said.” Well, except for the people of Kansas who brought the lawsuit.


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