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SB 22 – A Common-Sense Bill that Stops a Tax Increase

SB 22 – A Common-Sense Bill that Stops a Tax Increase

The following column was drafted jointly by Senators Mary Pilcher Cook, Ty Masterson, Julia Lynn, Mike Petersen, Richard Hilderbrand, Gene Suellentrop, Larry Alley, and Bud Estes in response to a this column by the Kansas City Star Editorial Board. It was submitted to the Kansas City Star, who refused to run it unless unless terminology was changed to the KC Star’s satisfaction. So, the Senators provided the Kansas Truth Caucus permission to run the column instead.

On February 7, in a column that reads like a press release from the Democratic Party, the Kansas City Star’s Editorial Board penned a sensationalist screed entitled, “Kansas Senate just passed a reckless tax cut. Is it a sign of more disasters to come?”

This headline is an example of the type of “fake news” that frustrates so many Americans, as it paints an inaccurate picture of what occurred and serves to stir up people by creating a "strawman argument" that the Editorial Board then attacks mercilessly.

In truth, it’s classic yellow journalism.

SB 22 is not reckless. It is not a disaster. It isn’t even a tax cut, which implies a reduction of rates. It is a simple, common-sense bill that makes changes to Kansas tax code to stop a tax increase on Kansas businesses and families, right at a time they are filing their returns.

Here is the truth – in 2017, the United States Congress passed the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, which passed along a number of significant tax reductions. Surely, even the Editorial Board of the Star would agree that these tax reductions were meant for the people, not for government.

It’s not rocket science to be able to understand that it can’t be considered a tax cut if the government never received the money in the first place.

In fact, due to the fact the federal and state tax codes are currently tied together in several respects, a significant number of individual Kansans and job-producing companies will face a tax increase if state law is not changed to de-couple these provisions.

For instance, SB 22 would allow Kansans to itemize on their state tax return while utilizing the new $24,000 standard deduction on their federal tax return. Not being able to do so would result in a tax increase – which is unacceptable.

SB 22 would also prevent a massive tax increase on repatriated income for multi-national companies that bring significant jobs to Kansans. One such company is in Mission, Kansas. If SB 22 does not pass, Kansans will be one of just a few states that have such a tax, placing us at a disadvantage right at a time our economy is soaring.

Some have suggested that the legislature do nothing for now and wait until later in the session to act. This would be the equivalent of finding someone’s wallet and then holding onto it for a while rather than returning it immediately to the rightful owner.

In closing, the editorial even attempted to cast shade on GOP Senators by calling “stubborn” for passing this bill. On this, we’ll plead guilty – we will always be stubborn in standing up for efforts to prevent a tax increase on the people of Kansas.

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