Failure to decouple cost Kansans, economist says

Some Kansans were really hit in the wallet by the failure to decouple the tax code following the changes on the federal level in 2017, says the Director of the Sandlian Center for Entrepreneurial Government at the Kansas Policy Institute.

“Now that we actually have official data from the Kansas Department of Revenue, it shows that this veto actually raised taxes on the poor,” said Michael Austin. “It did so twice as high as on those that were wealthy.”

About 90,000 Kansans had their taxes go up after the 2017 change.

“The income of those 90,000 Kansans, it grew 1.9%, roughly 2%, but their taxes, it went up by 15.5%,” said Austin. “You can see how that decision not to return that tax windfall to Kansans, it ultimately hurt Kansans of all incomes, but especially the poor.”

In fact, the tax increase was regressive.

“Single filers, making between $15,000 and $30,000, they saw a 28% tax increase,” said Austin. “Single filers making over $150,000 only saw a 9% tax increase.”

Due to federal tax changes and increases in marginal state tax rates, Kansas residents sent another $65 million to state coffers that they wouldn’t have had decoupling become law.