Daily Archives: May 18, 2014

Open thread (May 18)


Do state taxes matter in relocations?

proptax“Differences in tax levels among states have little to no effect on whether and where people move, contrary to claims by some conservative economists and elected officials,” according to a new report by the left-leaning Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. It found that most people who move between states do so because of climate or employment opportunities, not because of state taxes. In fact, it found that people are nearly as likely to move from low-tax states to high-tax states – and in some cases more so. Though factors such as weather, jobs and family are more important in most relocation decisions, the right-leaning Tax Foundation counters that “taxes matter on the margin.” It also argues that the “slow and steady process by which better tax policies support stronger economic growth will likely promote higher job growth and, in turn, more inward migration.”

State keeps dumping on local governments


Correction: An e-mail that House Speaker Ray Merrick wrote about the phaseout of the mortgage registration fee was focused on Johnson County only, not all county governments.

House Speaker Ray Merrick, R-Stilwell, had some nerve to say that “there is no need” for county governments to increase their mill levies due to the phaseout of the mortgage-registration fee on homebuyers. The state has been dumping on local governments for years, imposing and then underfunding mandates and eliminating revenue-sharing programs. Sedgwick County spends about $150 million per year to provide services mandated by the state, yet receives only about 15 percent of the funding needed to pay for these services. The county also has lost about $59 million in revenue since 2009 because of state actions. It estimates that the loss of mortgage-registration fees will cost it as much as $3.7 million when fully implemented. Instead of lecturing and off-loading on local governments, the state needs to support them.

So they said

bbackmug“Kansas is, at last, escaping the economic death spiral it had been in. My ‘Road Map for Kansas’ is working.” – Gov. Sam Brownback (in photo), in the fundraising letter in which he misstated dates regarding the state’s finances and referred to Democratic opponent Paul Davis (in boldface type) as “a liberal lawyer from Lawrence who was a two-time delegate for Barack Obama”

“Kansas is the most changed state in America.” – Lt. Gov. Jeff Colyer, touting the administration’s economic, education and pro-life records at a Saline County Republican candidate forum

“Most good things that last are bipartisan.” – former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole, to Kansas Public Radio, about working with Democratic Sen. Ted Kennedy to pass the Americans With Disabilities Act

“I’d love to have a magic wand to bring some of your sanity back to Washington. You are missed.” – former Democratic Gov. John Carlin, visiting with Dole in Salina on Tuesday

“Probably the best thing we did this spring was we got out of town after 79 days.” – Rep. Don Hineman, R-Dighton, on the legislative session

“It was amazing how hardheaded those folks were. They just couldn’t accept the fact that they got beat.” – Hineman again, on opponents of renewable energy standards