Kansas Moves Up Four Places in COGD Rankings
Today, Kansas “celebrates” their Cost of Government Day one day after the national Cost of Government Day. The Cost of Government Day report measures the calendar date by which the average American pays off his/her share of spending and regulatory burdens at all levels of government: federal, state and local.
Residents of Kansas must work 198 days out of the year to pay for the cost of federal, state and local government. In other words, Sunflower state workers have less than half the year to save for themselves.
Currently, Kansas has the 19th highest tax burden, with state and local taxes taking away 9.7 percent of taxpayers’ income. Between 2003 and 2012 residents saw their taxes increase by $3.97 billion – equating to $1,399.08 for every man, woman and child. However, after eight years of reigning Democrats, Republican Governor Sam Brownback took office in 2011 and Kansas is headed in the right direction on tax reform.
Governor Brownback signed into law a $13.41 billion budget for FY2013 this past May. The budget reduces overall government spending by $465 million and includes signficant tax reform, phasing out the income tax in Kansas. Legislators have put in place a two-bracket system replacing the current three-brackets. Taxpayers earning more than $15,000 will now have a reduced income tax rate of 4.9 percent, and those earning less than $15,000 will pay 3 percent of their income, instead of 3.5 percent. Over five years, residents of the Sunflower state will experience tax cuts of $3.7 billion.
Governor Brownback’s tax reform and spending cuts give the state hope for an even earlier Cost of Government Day next year, made evident by Kansas’s jump in the rankings by four places for this year.