Friday, June 5, 2015

The High Cost of Doing Business in Kansas

June 5, 2015

Annie McKay, Kansas Center for Economic Growth
Cost of doing business in Kansas could increase 
$130 million under tax proposals 
Latest data shows businesses need sales and property tax relief more than income tax cuts     
TOPEKA - After another failed attempt to usher a tax package through the Kansas Legislature, the Kansas Center for Economic Growth today shared data illustrating that plans to raise the state sales tax is not in the best interest of Kansas businesses or families. In fact, proposals that would raise the state sales tax to 6.65 percent would increase the cost of doing business in the state by over $130 million. 

"In 2012, Gov. Brownback told Kansans that income taxes hampered our state's economic potential," said Annie McKay, Executive Director at the Kansas Center for Economic Growth. "In reality, sales and property taxes consistently burden the private sector far more than income tax. When the original Brownback plan was enacted, Kansas businesses actually paid nine times more in sales tax than individual income tax." 

This isn't the only indication that the misguided focus on income tax is failing to provide the economic boom promised: 
"After countless proposals spanning three years, no real 'fix' for the Brownback tax experiment has surfaced because it simply can't be fixed - it needs to end," said Duane Goossen, former Kansas budget director and senior fellow at Kansas Center for Economic Growth. "You cannot eliminate half the state's revenue, cut critical economic investments like schools, roads, and public safety, increase the cost of doing business by hundreds of millions of dollars, then expect Kansas businesses and families to prosper." 

"Kansas is now hours away from a potentially devastating state government shutdown, yet lawmakers are no closer to a solution," said McKay. "This is an economic emergency. Rather than attempting to band-aid a failed policy with another damaging stopgap, lawmakers should repeal the 2012 law and start fresh next year with what Kansas businesses and families really need: property and sales tax relief." 


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See all of KCEG's latest research & analysis, including briefs, infographics and other blogs, on our website.

What to Do about Wage Theft

Wage Theft

The goal: End wage theft (the illegal underpayment or non-payment of workers' wages).

Interfaith worker advocates, ethical businesses and community leaders are getting tough laws passed, sending a message to unethical employers: Thou shalt not steal. But more needs to be done.
More than 16,000 workers come to IWJ worker centers for help each year. 80% are victims of wage theft. Wage theft happens in every industry to millions of workers. Billions of dollars are stolen when employers pay less than minimum wage; refuse overtime pay; force workers to work off the clock; hold back final paychecks; misclassify employees as independent contractors; steal tips; and fail to pay workers at all.
Wage theft cheats workers, steals from the public when companies fail to pay employment taxes, and puts ethical businesses at an unfair disadvantage.
But, together, we are making a difference.
In line with efforts to end wage theft, IWJ and other worker advocates around the country are pushing the Department of Labor to issue a Paystubs for All regulation that would require employers to provide workers with documentation of how their pay is calculated and what deductions are taken out.
Click here to learn more about the Paystubs for All campaign.