Daily Archives: July 6, 2013

Jordan points to bigger picture on taxes

When the 6.3 percent statewide sales-tax rate didn’t drop to 5.7 percent on Monday as promised by the 2010 Legislature, but instead dropped to 6.15 percent via action of the 2013 Legislature, was that a tax increase or decrease? It depends on how Kansans look at it, and Revenue Secretary Nick Jordan (in photo) and others want them to see a bigger picture. “Kansans will pay significantly less in taxes in 2013 than they did in 2012, and the savings will grow from there,” Jordan wrote in a commentary in Friday’s Eagle. Jordan also said that “when it comes to compassionate assistance to the poor, it is imperative to remember the full range of government benefits provided, rather than one item in isolation. Low-income and disabled Kansans receive more than $3.5 billion in assistance annually through programs already in place, forming a sizable safety net.” Recent Eagle editorials have questioned the state’s commitment to reducing child poverty and its failure to get rid of the regressive sales tax on food.

Farmer Huelskamp’s farm-bill vote stands out

“If the Washington establishment is from Mars, the Republican caucus in the House is from Venus,” wrote the Wall Street Journal’s Gerald F. Seib, on how first- and second-term House Republicans such as Rep. Tim Huelskamp, R-Fowler, are happily defying conventional wisdom. Asked how his recent vote against the farm bill is playing in Kansas’ “Big First,” which receives the second highest per capita share of farm subsidies of any district in the nation, the congressman-farmer said: “I haven’t really had much push-back. What I’m hearing from home is, ‘What we expect you to do, Tim, is we expect you to get Congress out of the rut we’ve been in.’” Huelskamp dislikes that nearly 80 percent of the bill’s funding goes to food stamps.