February 8, 2016

Pro-growth tax policy will benefit economy

Gov. Sam Brownback
Guest columnist
When Jeff Colyer and I took office in January of 2011, tens of thousands of fewer Kansans were working in private sector jobs than a decade ago.  Our state was losing residents to all surrounding states.  We had the highest taxes in the region and ranked among the worst in private sector job creation.  Something had to be done if Kansas was going to be a place where our children and grandchildren could stay to find a job and raise a family.
When we took office, there was $876.10 in the state’s coffers and a projected deficit for the next fiscal year of $500 million.  Through a combination of fiscal restraint, smart cuts, and focusing our resources on the core functions of government, we took that half billion dollar deficit and turned it into a half billion dollar surplus.  This billion dollar swing was achieved in one year.
Now that Kansas’s economy is getting back on track and we’ve taken the necessary steps to get the government’s fiscal house in order, it was time to take a stand for the future of our state.  In May, the Kansas Legislature passed and I signed the largest tax cut in state history, eliminating state income taxes on small businesses and reducing the tax burden on every hardworking Kansan.
From day one, my administration’s top priority has been to grow the Kansas economy and create jobs.  We had to reverse the trend of capital loss that we were suffering to every state around us and still the tide of rural population decline.  This is what we ran for office promising to and we have taken swift and decisive action.
We did this because it was time to shake up the status quo of taxing, spending, and declining.  In our federalist system, state governments are forced to compete against each other for capital, jobs, and residents.  Competition offers two options: you can either refuse to adapt to changing conditions and fall behind those who do, or you can lead the way to the future.  Kansas had to change the way it competes regionally and nationally for residents and jobs, and so far we have made great progress.
In addition to reducing the tax burden on Kansas families and small businesses, we also improved our economic development toolbox with targeted incentives like letting businesses of any size deduct 100% of the expense of new business equipment and machinery.  We created Rural Opportunity Zones to help recruit people to counties with sharply declining populations.  And we established education programs to increase engineering and tech career students to meet our businesses’ future workforce needs.
Our new pro-growth tax policy will be like a shot of adrenaline into the heart of the Kansas economy. It will pave the way to the creation of tens of thousands of new jobs, bring tens of thousands of people to Kansas and help make our state the best place in America to start and grow a small business.  It will leave more than a billion dollars in the hands of Kansans – they know far better how to spend their money than the state government.  An expanding economy and growing population will directly benefit our schools and local governments.
We will continue to work to provide a business environment that will keep our state regionally and globally competitive.  We will continue to reform state government so that it is more efficient, effective and responsive to our citizen’s needs.  We will continue to meet the needs of our state’s most vulnerable.  We will continue to provide for high quality schools.
But most of all, we will continue to strive to make our state even better.  Kansas’ lost decade is over.  No longer will we be satisfied with our children moving to another state for better opportunities.  No longer will we accept having the highest tax burden in the region.  Now is the time to grow our economy, not state government, and that’s what this our policies will do.
We are just getting started in Kansas, but we are off the sidelines and in the game.


  1. Judith Rogers says:

    Well, Mr. Brownback, I certainly don’t go along with all of your political bullshi.

    The way you got to the point of having a half billion dollar surplus was by passing that sales tax increase FOR ALL CITIZENS which was particularly hard on the poor and low income people. That sales tax increase provided you means to take care of many thieves who are not meeting their responsibilities to their communities by getting their fraudulent “farm” appraisals or by the sweet deals, as examples, where they almost eliminate their property tax burden and takes millions and millions of tax dollars from the citizens who need those dollars, especially for education of their children.

    You say “we will continue to meet the needs of our state’s most vulnerable” and yet you have closed one SRS office after another making it very, very hard for disabled people to have a location in their community where they need it. The people could only retain that SRS office in Lawrence because Douglas County stepped up to the plate and paid to keep that office open.

    What have you done with respect to health care for all of those in Kansas who don’t have health care? What have you done to help Insurance Commissioner Praeger get ready for insurance exchanges in the state of Kansas? What have you done with respect to any of those people except turn a blind eye to them and spit out the political drivel???

    You continue to take care of the big boys on the backs of the common citizen by transferring the state’s costs for the needs of the citizens to the local level – another way you can get your surplus but the citzens’ sure aren’t seeing any surplus in their wallets.

    That trickle down economics does not work for the common citizen – it just continues to make the rich richer and the poor poorer and the middle class falling ever quickly into poverty. I am sure you will continue to cut services at the state level to make yourself look good and the people will then just have to pay for the costs for the services they need at the local level. The ole shell game and the shuffling of the money doesn’t work for Joe Blow who lives on Main St. – he can’t get his million dollar handouts from the worthless politicians and he shouldn’t, just like those thieves shouldn’t be getting theirs but do because of cronyism government.

    You say “We are just getting started in Kansas”………..yeah, that is the saddest and most pathetic thing that I have to live with.

  2. Potty mouth, Judith. Do you recall your “outrage” that our Mayor said a naughty word? Where is that now, hypocrite.

    What’s interesting about the content of your comment is that you seem to be interested only in insulting Brownback and don’t appear to care a whit about Kansas having policies that actually help taxpayers by spurring growth of businesses to shoulder more of the tax load with their success. It’s a fairly simple economic concept. Why are you against paying less taxes?

  3. Judith Rogers says:

    Those on Medicaid are among the poorest of the poor. All should be watching closely as to what will happening to those under that program as Brownback supposedly cuts Medicaid costs by more than $1 BILLION in the next five years. Do you think those poor people will be seeing any cuts in services?? If this is such a great savings and better program, then I say it is time to put all of the politicians and government employees which includes school employees and local government workers under that health managed care program.


    Brownback will not be providing any tax relief to the average citizen because he does not govern for them – the average Joe Blow is the bread and butter for jaybirds like Brownback and the thieves. Check on NBC Nightly News program to remind you again of what has happened to the average person in the past 10 years and they are worse off than they have been in years and years and it is very unlikely for the youth of America to have what their parents had as far as financial stability of any kind. The middle class numbers are dwindling as we speak.

    Your vote does have consequences.

  4. Judith Rogers says:

    Brownback needs to be spending some money on putting white collar thieves like this jerk behind bars. And there are plenty of them out there like those medical supply companies which I have first hand experience with. And many of these thieves are the same ones Brownback now says they shouldn’t be paying any state income tax………..he just keeps gilding the tarnished lowlifes and putting the screw to the guys who is about the only ones around who pays the bills………


  5. Judith Rogers says:

    The last sentence of the previous postings should read: “putting the screw to the guys who are about the only ones around who pay the bills………”

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