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Posts tagged as “Taxation”

Thanks for picking up the tab, or, taxpayer-funded lobbying hurts

This article explains the prevalence of and the problems with taxpayer-funded lobbying. This type of lobbying is especially egregious, as it is using taxpayers' own funds to harm them further. It's bad enough that a governmental body -- say the Wichita Public Schools -- receives funds, increasing rapidly from year to year, from the local taxpayer. It then compounds the damage by using some of that money to persuade other governmental bodies to send them even more. Sometimes they use your own money to fund lawsuits to get even more of your money.

Taxes in Kansas at an All-Time High

At no other time in the state’s history have state and local governments imposed such a heavy tax burden on Kansas residents. This year, state and local taxes will capture 11.2 percent of the state’s income.

The graduated income tax contributes to this all time high by creating a boom of revenue and spending during prosperous economic times. In periods of rapid growth, income tax revenue increases faster than income. Excited by these new funds, legislators increase state spending with new or expanded programs to match.

Floods and whirlwind (of spending in Kansas)

Kansans are focused upon the floods as well as the results of the tornados that tore up this state in early May. The wrath of Mother Nature is upon us just as the Kansas legislature has left its own flood of spending and whirlwind of legislative changes on this state. The legislature’s fiscal wrath might be overlooked by Kansans focused upon their flooded basements or providing help and assistance to the devastated folks who survived in Greensburg. Kansans ignoring the legislature do so at their peril.

It’s not yours to cut

It's the people who “give” tax money to the government, not the government who “gives” it back to the people in the form of tax cuts. If the government cuts taxes, the government gives us nothing. It simply takes less of what is ours in the first place.

The Real Cost of Higher Taxes

A column in the Wall Street Journal explains how certain tax cuts generate additional growth and thus lead to some degree of revenue feedback to the Treasury. The authors point out that higher taxes, by contrast, would impose harsh costs on the economy for every dollar collected by the IRS.

Pay As You Go?

On the rare occasions the mainstream national news media bothers to cover federal spending and taxes you are sure to hear the phrase, “pay as you go,” as the primary talking point of the new congressional Democratic majority. This phrase is supposed to reassure us now that the profligate “Bridge to Nowhere,” free spending Republicans have been relegated into the minority.

President Bush’s tax hike

At the end of March 2007, President Bush raised taxes on Americans. How so? He did it by applying tariffs to imports of paper from China.

Painlessly paying our taxes, almost

Since tax withholding from paychecks and mortgage payments reduces our awareness of just how much tax we pay, it's unlikely that governments will stop the withholding of taxes and submit a bill to taxpayers. Instead, it's left to ourselves to remain aware of how much we are paying.

Are you a second class Kansan?

The Kansas legislature is in the process of deciding how wide the separation will be between various classes of Kansans. State Senator Peggy Palmer, R-Augusta, and State Representative Judy Morrison, R-Shawnee, introduced bills in their separate legislative houses that would have exempted social security payments from the Kansas personal income tax this year.

The decline of local chambers of commerce

"I used to think that public employee unions like the NEA were the main enemy in the struggle for limited government, competition and private sector solutions," says Mr. Caldera of the Independence Institute. "I was wrong. Our biggest adversary is the special interest business cartel that labels itself 'the business community' and its political machine run by chambers and other industry associations."

Tax Growth Exceeds Income Growth

Several recent national fiscal surveys have pointed out that Kansas’ fiscal climate is not conducive to economic growth and we rank poorly with most of our neighboring states. There is tremendous tax uncertainty that is reflected in both the high level of property taxes in Kansas but the sizable property tax increases that occur through the appraisal process as well as higher mill levies.

Wichita City Council and Cessna Aircraft Company Industrial Revenue Bonds

I received this letter written to Wichita Mayor Carlos Mayans and members of the Wichita City Council. The author makes excellent points about the harmful effects of special tax treatment for special interests. A better goal would be to work to reduce taxes for all companies and all people. This way, each company and individual can decide how to make best use of their own funds, instead of the Wichita City Council deciding for us. That is, in effect, what tax breaks like this do. It is the government deciding that resources should be allocated in a way different than how the market has decided. Our experience tells us that governments aren’t as smart as markets, and that governments almost always allocate resources inefficiently.

Tax funded lobbyists spending revealed

There are lobbyists and there are taxpayer funded lobbyists roaming the halls of the statehouse during the legislative sessions. A small window on the taxpayer funded lobbying opened up following the two separate legal actions of Attorney General Phill Kline and the Topeka Capital-Journal in seeking spending data from the Schools for Fair Funding organization. The attorney general and the newspaper deserve a pat-on-the-back for fighting for the disclosure of this information.

Sedgwick County surrenders key tax advantage

Spirit Aerosystems CEO Jeff Turner defended the massive spending hike that was used as the primary justification for the county's 8.8 percent property tax hike in his editorial August 9, 2006. Turner's support for this increased government spending ignored some important ramifications behind this economically destructive vote.

High tax Kansas exposed again

Businesses and homeowners know that Kansas has high taxes. The appointed and occasionally elected officials setting this state's fiscal policy are often contemptuous of the fiscal burden being imposed upon Kansans but this is a reality that should not continue to be ignored.

Government Charity in Sedgwick County

At the July 25, 2006 Sedgwick County Commission meeting, during the public hearing on the proposed 2007 Sedgwick County budget, a speaker said this in support of funding for mental health services: "I agree with the previous presenter and I'd be willing to forego a few cheeseburgers this year so that if I need to pay more taxes to help provide services, I'm willing to do that."

It hardly seems necessary to remind this speaker that she may give whatever she wants of her time and money to any organization she wants. She doesn't need the Sedgwick County Commission to do it for her.

The advantage of being Warren Buffet

The recent news that Warren Buffet is giving away the bulk of his fortune to charity is good news to me, as I greatly prefer private charity to government spending of taxes. That's true for me even if Mr. Buffet were to use his philanthropy to support causes that I might not agree with.

But there is an irony here. Mr. Buffet is a vocal supporter of the inheritance tax (or estate tax or death tax). By giving away much of his wealth, he escapes paying the tax he wants others to pay. Mr. Buffet is wealthy enough that he can give away a lot, but he stills retain great wealth for supporting himself in his declining years and providing very well for his children.

Kansas Spends While Neighboring States Invest

Kansas will spend $984.2 million in state funds over the next three years and a record-setting state budget as a result of the 2006 legislature. Alan Rupe, the attorney for the litigious school districts, told the Wichita Eagle that this spending hike is inadequate and demanded more on May 12. The ethically challenged Kansas Supreme Court, three of its seven members having had ethics complaints filed against them in this matter during the last year, will soon render their latest verdict in the long-running school finance litigation that began in the 1980's. Three members of this court have endorsed the legal theory that would have the court exercising almost perpetual financial oversight on state public school spending and eviscerating the power of elected officials.

Paying for tax cuts

Commentary surrounding two recent tax cuts reveals the backwards thinking about taxes that is common.

Increase our awareness of taxes

As the annual tax deadline is upon us, we should take a moment to examine our level of awareness of the taxes we pay.

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