Opinion Columns & Blogs

Beware of backdoor state tax increase

Many middle-class families and senior citizens won’t be happy when they do their state income taxes next year, as the Legislature reduced or eliminated several itemized deductions. They’ll be even more upset when they realize their taxes are increasing so that about 330,000 business owners can be exempt from state income taxes. Taxpayers will be able to deduct only 50 percent of their mortgage interest expenses and real estate and personal property taxes. They also won’t be able to deduct any of their medical expenses, which could particularly hurt some senior citizens. All total, this backdoor tax increase is projected to cost taxpayers $97 million – or, rather, it will cost those Kansans who still pay state income taxes. – Phillip Brownlee