Opinion Columns & Blogs

Cost of tax cuts still adding up

New state income tax cuts that went into effect Jan. 1 lowered the tax rate from 4.8 percent to 4.6 percent for married couples filing jointly who earn more than $30,000 and for singles earning more than $15,000. The rate drop is expected to reduce state revenue by $109.9 million in 2015. Though it is possible for lawmakers to reverse that reduction, doing so would be complicated, a state revenue official told the Topeka Capital-Journal. It’s also unlikely that the Legislature or Gov. Sam Brownback would support a reversal, even though the state is facing revenue shortfalls this fiscal year and next of about $1 billion. Some lawmakers are open to freezing future tax cuts until the state’s budget stabilizes – which seems like common sense. The remaining tax rate cuts scheduled for coming years are expected to reduce state revenue by an additional $93.2 million in 2016, $79.1 million in 2017, and $142.1 million in 2018. – Phillip Brownlee