TOPEKA — States with lower tax burdens and reduced government spending grow faster, a tax policy specialist with the American Legislative Exchange Council told lawmakers Tuesday.
“People vote with their feet,” said Jonathan Williams, who directs the tax and fiscal policy task force for ALEC, a leading limited government think tank. “And people are moving to states with lower rates.”
Williams’ message, which closely matches Gov. Sam Brownback’s message on taxes, comes as members of the House Taxation Committee begin this week to hear the pros and cons of Brownback’s proposal to reduce individual income tax rates, eliminate taxes on most small businesses and make up for reduced tax revenues by scrapping many popular tax credits and deductions.
Brownback’s plan has faced widespread criticism from those who enjoy home mortgage deductions and from lower-income workers who benefit from the earned income tax credit, both which are on the list Brownback would do away with. And in a news conference Tuesday it faced more push back from a coalition of education, healthcare and clergy groups. (More on that in a bit.)
But there’s agreement among some of the state’s most influential and conservative groups on some of the core aspects of Brownback’s proposal, such as reducing tax rates and slowing the growth of government spending.
On Wednesday, the Kansas Chamber of Commerce’s tax reform coalition plans a 2 p.m. news conference in the statehouse that is expected to include Brownback, chairmen of the House and Senate tax committees and people from a variety of business groups.