February 25, 2024

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Estes on Tax Reform: Comparisons of KS Reform to Federal Reform Inaccurate

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Comparing Kansas tax reform to federal efforts at a tax code overhaul is comparing apples to giraffes, because the two plans aren’t structured the same way, Kansas Congressman Ron Estes writes in a column today for the Wall Street Journal.

Estes served as Kansas State Treasurer before being elected to Congress in a special 2017 election.

“No one watched the dollars flowing in and out more closely than I did,” the column reads.

Those using Kansas tax reform as a cautionary tale are telling tale tales, according to Estes. The Journal column is one of many using facts and hindsight to dispel the myths created about Kansas tax reform.

Congressman Ron Estes, R-Kansas

The Wichita Republican reminds readers Kansas reformed taxes in 2012–the same year federal stimulus funds ended. The conclusion of stimulus fund caused Kansas revenues to dip by 12.5 percent.

“Democrats knew this money was temporary, but they behaved as if it were permanent,” Estes writes. “The effect was to exaggerate the ‘lost revenue’ from the tax cut.”

The Congressman accurately notes Kansas lawmakers stripped pay-fors from the original Kansas tax cut legislation. They added about 3 percent in new spending each year, despite the collapse of two of critical Kansas industries–agricultural and aviation–further depressing state revenues.

Kansas tax reform focused on reducing taxes for small business, which added record numbers of small businesses. The federal plan reduces taxes for small and large corporations to make U.S. corporate tax rates competitive with international rates.

“So why do Democrats keep bringing up Kansas?” Estes asks. “Because the truth gets in the way of their efforts to kill tax reform”

 

The Kansan recommends his Congressional peers press ahead on tax reform.

“Democrats, with their Kansas show trial, have demonstrated that they are more interested in phony comparisons than in offering real solutions,” Estes concludes.

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