Opinion Columns & Blogs

Susan Wagle: Kansas is on the path to prosperity

The 2013 legislative session marked a major step forward in reforming long-term fiscal policy and positioning Kansas as a model for other pro-growth states. We changed the trajectory of our state’s tax policy by moving toward a FairTax model that targets the taxation of consumption (sales) rather than productivity (income).

By directing our focus squarely on income-tax cuts, which grow our economy and jobs quicker than any other tax policy, we doubled down on the success of last session and set Kansas on a path to prosperity for years to come.

Combined with last year’s cut, the plan passed this session delivers $4.1 billion in tax cuts over the next five years. For fiscal year 2014 alone, it will net roughly $540 million in tax cuts. These are things they wouldn’t dream of doing in Washington, D.C., and they’re things we didn’t dare to dream of under the leadership of former Gov. Kathleen Sebelius.

We live in a mobile society. Jobs grow and people locate where they can keep in their own pocket the maximum amount of their hard-earned money. The new tax policy we passed will update the old model of taxation that punishes wage earners and encourages them to relocate.

This year, we cut income-tax rates to the lowest in the region, and by 2018, we’ll be 12th lowest in the nation as surrounding states struggle to keep up with our cuts in the race for new growth.

We passed a balanced budget while funding core services and kept state spending within our means. Even with the historic tax cuts and a two-year budget leaving a healthy ending balance, legislators still improved the regulatory environment for all businesses in Kansas by lowering unemployment taxes on most businesses, passing paycheck protection and establishing regulatory certainty – on top of cutting small-business income taxes completely in 2012.

Again, all of this would have seemed impossible just a few short years ago.

Kansas is on the right track. Your legislators are fighting to grow high-paying jobs, bolster opportunity and encourage upward mobility through proven, reliable tax policy.

The 2013 session effectively limited the scope of state government and provided real tax relief. This tax structure will shape the next decade of fiscal policy in Kansas. It will grow our communities and provide a clear path for both personal and commercial success, which remains our ultimate goal.