06 October 2022 | Tax and Budget

KAC Tax Policy Rubric

We advocate for equitable tax and budget policies, which prioritize ensuring opportunity and stability for all Kansas families. KAC believes the answers to practical questions about taxes — like how high or low should they be, who should pay and how much, and what should be taxed — flow from strong and equitable principles. These are broadly recognized as the foundation of a system that works. KAC evaluates tax policy by looking at six measures.

Adequacy A tax system needs to pay for the services necessary to promote economic growth and education, support basic needs, and provide for many other important functions that contribute to a thriving community. Both short- and long-term adequacy are critical.
Fairness Lower-income households shouldn’t pay a higher share of their income in taxes than high-income households and profitable corporations. People and companies in similar economic situations should pay roughly similar taxes. The fiscal “rules of the game” shouldn’t place artificial constraints — like caps on income tax rates — that prevent policymakers from raising the revenue needed to finance public investments and to promote shared prosperity.
Equity Equity needs to be built into fiscal policy. That means recognizing that tax policy is not race-neutral. Every policy impacts racial equity. It is important to assess fiscal policies for their impact on racial equity and to pursue policies that deliver anti-racist outcomes.
Simplicity Tax systems should facilitate compliance by avoiding overly complicated provisions and narrowly applied loopholes.
Sustainability A tax system needs to be constructed in ways that avoid — as much as possible — unpredictable, large fluctuations in the amount of revenue collected each year.
Elasticity The amount of revenue collected should increase as the economy expands, reflecting the increased needs of education, transportation, and many other public services.