While Governor Nixon travels the state telling taxpayers he can’t cut their taxes, Kansas cuts taxes and welcomes new jobs.
When Kansas passed a series of tax cuts for businesses and individuals during the 2012 legislative session, the media and liberal politicians scoffed. “How can state revenues grow if taxes are cut?” they asked. Gloom and doom followed. Media and politicians across the country, even within the state borders, predicted financial chaos, massive state service cuts, even bankruptcy.
But as Fiscal Year 2013 ended, you could have heard a pin drop when the Kansas Department of Revenue issued a simple statement that the state ended the year with $86.6 million more than estimates projected, $159.6 million more than the state had taken in during the previous fiscal year. Tax receipts for June alone beat monthly projections by $25.1 million.
No blaring headlines in the large city daily newspaper across the border in Missouri. Nary a mention on local television or radio. It was quieter than Whoville the morning after the Grinch stole Christmas.
“How can this be?” the puzzled editorial boards must have clucked.
The answer lies in the latest numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In the period from May 2012 to May 2013 total non-farm employment in the Kansas City, Kansas – Missouri statistical area rose 0.9 percent, 9,500 jobs. All 9,500 jobs were on the Kansas side of the border. Missouri’s number stood at zero…stagnant.
Kansas is drawing new business. Existing businesses spurred on by lower tax rates are hiring more employees, or giving higher salaries to current workers. The increases in workforce and salaries are driving individual and sales tax collections higher.
Governor Nixon says lowering taxes to raise revenues is a risky experiment. He knows better, and the proof is just across the border. This is a pattern that is being repeated in other border states such as Oklahoma where tax revenues continue to grow even as the legislature continues to cut tax rates.
So as Governor Nixon continues to barnstorm on the taxpayers’ dime, claiming the support of six million Missourians, saying only one man stands for cutting taxes, Kansas makes off with our jobs, our taxes and laughs all the way to the bank. Governor Nixon is right about one thing: this fight is six million to one: six million taxpayers that would enjoy a tax cut against one Governor that vetoed the bill.
Associated Industries of Missouri