Taxation

Wichita property tax on commercial property: High

Wichita property tax on commercial property: High

An ongoing study reports that 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" 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. In Kansas, residential property is assessed at 11.5 percent of…
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Wichita property tax still high on commercial property

Wichita property tax still high on commercial property

An ongoing study reports that 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, June 2017" 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. In Kansas, residential property is assessed at 11.5…
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Tax collections by the states

An interactive visualization of tax collections by state governments. Each year the United States Census Bureau collects data from the states regarding tax collections in various categories. I present this data in an interactive visualization. The values are for tax collections by the state only, not local governmental entities like cities, counties, townships, improvement districts, cemetery districts, library districts, drainage districts, watershed districts, and school districts. Of particular interest is the "Total by State" tab. Here you can select a number of states and compare their tax burdens. (Probably three or four states at a time is the practical limit.)…
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Kansas cigarette tax collections

Kansas cigarette tax collections

Effective July 1, 2015, the tax on cigarettes in Kansas rose by $0.50 per pack, going from $0.79 to $1.29 per pack. For the three years prior to that date cigarette tax collections averaged about $7.5 million per month. Since then collections has averaged about $11.1 million per month. But, as the chart shows, the trend is down. For February 2017 collections were $8.7 million, almost exactly the same as the month before the tax hike took effect.
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Tax collections by the states

Tax collections by the states

An interactive visualization of tax collections by state governments. Note: this visualization has been updated. Click here for the most recent version. Each year the United States Census Bureau collects data from the states regarding tax collections in various categories. I present this data in an interactive visualization. The values are for tax collections by the state only, not local governmental entities like cities, counties, townships, improvement districts, cemetery districts, library districts, drainage districts, watershed districts, and school districts. Of particular interest is the "State Total" tab. Here you can select a number of states and compare their tax burdens.…
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Tax rates and taxes paid

Tax rates and taxes paid

Is there a relationship between marginal tax rates and tax dollars collected? The top marginal tax rate -- that’s the rate that applies to high income earners on most of their income -- was above 90 percent during most of the 1950s. From 2003 to 2012 it was 35 percent, and is now 39.6 percent. Some see that as a lost opportunity. If we could return to the tax rates of the 1950s, they say, we could generate much more revenue for government. The top marginal tax rate is the rate that applies to income. It’s not the same as…
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The Wichita Eagle on Kansas sales tax exemptions

The Wichita Eagle on Kansas sales tax exemptions

The Wichita Eagle editorial board writes an editorial that gives false hope to advocates of more taxation and more spending. Advocates of eliminating sales tax exemptions in Kansas point to the great amount of revenue that could be raised if Kansas eliminated these exemptions, given at about $6 billion per year, according to a recent Wichita Eagle editorial.[1. Eagle Editorial Board. Reduce sales-tax exemptions. Wichita Eagle, February 3, 2017. http://www.kansas.com/opinion/editorials/article130438759.html.] Analysis of the nature of the exemptions and the amounts of money involved, however, leads us to realize that the additional tax revenue that could be raised is much less…
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Kansas cities force tax breaks on others

Kansas cities force tax breaks on others

When Kansas cities grant economic development incentives, they may also unilaterally take action that affects overlapping jurisdictions such as counties, school districts, and the state itself. The legislature should end this. When Kansas cities create tax increment financing (TIF) districts, the overlapping county and school district(s) have an opportunity to veto its creation. But for some other forms of incentives, such as tax increment financing district redevelopment plans, property tax abatements, and sales tax abatements, overlapping jurisdictions have no ability to object. There seems to be no rational basis for not giving these jurisdictions a chance to object to the…
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Sedgwick County delinquent property tax

Here is an interactive version of the list of delinquent property taxes in Sedgwick County. This list is printed in a local newspaper three times each summer. The Sedgwick County Treasurer issues a disclaimer regarding this list, which is that some of the taxes may have been paid, or are waiting the result of a grievance or protest. Click here to open the interactive list in a new window. As shown in the illustration below, you may click to expand the addresses of properties for an owner, and sort by any column.
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State taxes and charitable giving

State taxes and charitable giving

States with higher rates of economic growth grow total charitable giving at a faster rate than states with low rates of economic growth, finds a new report by American Legislative Exchange Council. From ALEC: Charity is a crucial component of efforts to address societal challenges and help individuals thrive. From religious organizations to community charities, philanthropic donations drive the institutions of civil society and enable communities to develop around a greater sense of shared purpose. Despite this important role, charitable giving is rarely addressed in discussions around public policy -- especially state tax policy. The report uses data collected from…
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Wichita property taxes still high, but comparatively better

Wichita property taxes still high, but comparatively better

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, although Wichita has improved comparatively. 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, April 2015" 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…
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Kansas sales tax has disproportionate harmful effects

Kansas sales tax has disproportionate harmful effects

Kansas legislative and executive leaders must realize that a shift to consumption taxes must be accompanied by relief from its disproportionate harm to low-income households. While Kansas legislative leaders and the governor praise the shift from income taxes to sales taxes, they ignore the severely regressive effect of sales taxes in Kansas. That is, a sales or consumption tax affects low-income families in greatest proportion relative to their incomes. The primary reason for the harshness of the Kansas sales tax is its application to food purchased in grocery stores. Few states tax food, and many of those that do apply…
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Tax rates and taxes paid

Tax rates and taxes paid

Those who call for a return to 90 percent tax rates should be aware that few people actually paid tax at those rates. Progressives are calling for higher income tax rates on the rich. The top marginal tax rate -- that's the rate that applies to high income earners on most of their income -- was above 90 percent during most of the 1950s. From 2003 to 2012 it was 35 percent, and is now 39.6 percent. Some see that as a lost opportunity. If we could return to the tax rates of the 1950s, they say, we could generate…
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Taxation in the states

Taxation in the states

Examining tax collections by the states shows that Kansas collects more tax than many of our neighbors, and should put to rest some common myths. Of a selection of nearby states, Kansas collects more taxes than most, on a per-person basis. The nearby table shows total tax collections, and tax collections per person. The chart shows collections grouped by major category, and one special category, which is severance taxes. Some of the data regarding specific taxes is revealing and should shape the debate over taxes in Kansas. Consider severance taxes, which are taxes levied on extracting materials like oil, gas,…
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The purpose of high tax rates

From February 2014. "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…
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Sin-tax or vice-tax?

Sin-tax or vice-tax?

As Kansas considers raising additional revenue by raising the tax on tobacco and alcohol, let's declare the end to governmental labeling of vice as sin, and people as sinners. Smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol are vices, not sins. Yes, some religions may label these activities as sins, and the people who engage in them, sinners. That is fine for them to do. But these sins -- no, vices -- harm no one except the person practicing them. Yes, I know that some will say that alcohol fuels aggression in some people, and that leads to harm to others. If they…
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Effect of federal grants on future local taxes

Effect of federal grants on future local taxes

"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. The research paper is titled Do Intergovernmental Grants Create Ratchets in State and Local Taxes? Testing the Friedman-Sanford Hypothesis. The difference between this research and most other is that Sobel and Crowley look at the impact of federal grants on state and local tax policy in future…
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State and local tax burdens presented

State and local tax burdens presented

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 nearly two decades, the Tax Foundation has published an estimate of the combined state and local tax burden shouldered by the residents of each of the fifty states, regardless of the jurisdictions to which those taxes are paid. We argue that it is important to note that a taxpayer’s true tax burden must include the substantial…
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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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