SENSIBLE FISCAL POLICY MAKES A DIFFERENCE. Children can thrive when they have their basic needs met. Through our tax dollars, Kansans support kids and families who otherwise would go without. That’s why budgets matter, from the tiniest town to the entire state.
That’s true before, during, and after the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. We’ve seen what happened when ideology got in the way of common sense over the last decade, and schools, hospitals, and vital infrastructure all paid the price.
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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.|
- We have proven programs to address the needs created by poverty and the pandemic. They have worked in the past, and they will work now. You can find out more about them in the family supports and health sections of this website.
- Emerging from the pandemic, state revenue projections look promising and can provide an opportunity for state lawmakers to prioritize Kansas families and the most vulnerable to economic insecurity.
- Kansas needs a stable revenue stream so the state can invest in schools, health care, and services for every Kansan while also protecting against economic downturns