23 April 2021 |

KAC writes: Why Kansas can't afford expensive Senate Bill 50

Kansas Action for Children
April 23, 2021

As the legislative break continues, the team at Kansas Action for Children is recharging and planning for the weeks ahead. This week, we wanted to share our statement about Gov. Laura Kelly's veto of Senate Bill 50, another expensive tax plan that would put the future of Kansas at risk.

If you missed our action alerts about tax policy earlier this session, don't worry. You will have more opportunities to weigh in on this profoundly misguided legislation. We promise to keep you in the loop. (If you want to explore an in-depth breakdown of the bill, look here.)

RELEASE: Pricey tax plan deserved Gov. Kelly’s veto

Gov. Laura Kelly has made the right decision for Kansas by vetoing yet another misguided, expansive tax plan.

With the passage of Senate Bill 50, state revenue faces a staggering $644 million hit over the next few years. SB 50 would cost $284 million, and a separate federal Paycheck Protection Program loophole would cost a whopping $360 million. Legislators in the Kansas Senate and House should both vote to sustain the governor’s veto and fix the tax treatment of PPP loans.

SB 50 simply costs too much. At a time when our state should be watching our revenue streams carefully, the bill hands out tax breaks to big corporations and high-income earners, among others. While it includes less harmful sections, the bill as a whole would set Kansas back as we work to rebuild from the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you care about the critical infrastructure needed to keep our economy strong — child care, K-12 schools, higher education, roads, broadband, and the state workforce — you should care about tax policy. Reduced revenue will lead to cuts in all these areas. Students, teachers, and those depending on state services will bear the brunt.

What’s more, years of research have shown that tax cuts don’t boost growth.

Kansas should promote long-term economic health by investing in the things that both families and businesses need to thrive: quality schools to educate the next generation; state-of-the-art transportation that enables parents to work and businesses to bring their products to market; safe, stable communities; and efficient state services.

Public investment and a reliable tax system are needed now to bolster Kansas families. That’s what legislators in both chambers should focus on when they return to Topeka next month. They should vote against SB 50 and sustain the governor’s veto, while closing the PPP loophole.