Kansas’ self-inflicted shortfall a cautionary tale for Oklahoma

Last year Kansas and Oklahoma were in a race to see which state could cut its income taxes fastest and deepest. Oklahoma lost, as Gov. Mary Fallin’s proposal fell short in the Legislature. But did Kansas and Gov. Sam Brownback win? An editorial in the Oklahoman newspaper in Oklahoma City noted that Brownback now must offset a revenue shortfall: “Kansas faces a revenue decline of $700 million for the fiscal year that begins July 1, compared with the current year. On the other hand, Kansans will pay less in income taxes. The state can boast that it taxes its highest earners at a lower rate than most states in the region, including Oklahoma. This will add fuel to the fire that Oklahoma must protect its flanks, sandwiched as it is between a state with no income tax (Texas) and another with a lower top rate. Nevertheless, what’s happening in Kansas is a cautionary tale.”