Kansas’ fiscal condition is dire. Fiscal analysts have projected deficits approaching a billion dollars by 2018 because of the loss of revenue from income tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest people and businesses in the state. Bond ratings have been downgraded because of budgets where spending exceeds revenues. Property taxes have increased by more than 10% in 71 of 105 counties and in total over $300 million during the Brownback administration. The current tax regime shifts the tax burden more to the middle class via higher sales and property taxes in order to replace revenue lost from 2012 income tax cuts.

Kansas Democrats oppose this tax shift and favor restoration of the “three-legged stool” concept of having a balance among income, sales, and property taxes. This balanced approach to taxation has protected the state during economic downturns, and has provided sufficient revenue for decades to fund education suitably and to meet the other primary needs of the state.

Kansas Democrats call on the next governor and legislature to stop any further income tax cuts which by law will occur in 2015 and beyond.

Kansas Democrats call on the next governor to create a bipartisan tax commission, as other governors have done, to review our state’s tax structure to make sure it is fair and represents Kansas values. Kansas Democrats will continue to fight to make sure that no single sector of our economy or group of our citizens bears a disproportionate share of our tax burden.

Kansas Democrats support the establishment and protection of the budgetary rainy day fund so we can survive the next economic downturn. Regaining Kansas’ top credit rating through prudent tax and fiscal policies should be a priority for the next governor and Kansas Legislature.

Kansas Democrats believe that refusing to accept federal money hurts Kansans. Kansans pay into the federal budget with our taxes and should get our share back to spend in Kansas and help the Kansas economy.